Saturday, 10 October 2015 12:00

Aussie farmers back China trade deal

Written by 
Brent Finlay. Brent Finlay.

As Australian politicians haggle over endorsing a free trade agreement with China, farmers are warning that failure to ratify the deal will cost them up to A$18 billion over 10 years.

The National Farmers' Federation (NFF) says it has done economic analysis of the FTA and is calling for bipartisan support for the China FTA as enabling legislation is tabled in the Australian parliament.

However the Opposition Labour Party, while backing the deal, wants changes to safeguard Australian jobs.

Labour fears temporary Chinese labour coming into Australia will jeopardise local jobs. The powerful Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU) has campaigned against the FTA, warning it will be bad for Australian jobs.

But Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull accused unions of "scaremongering" and challenged Labor to suggest a compromise on the FTA.

Farmers believe the deal is a good one. NFF president Brent Finlay says the China FTA is an unambiguously good deal for Australians and any delay to the enabling legislation would hurt the economy.

"This agreement is a game-changer: it's a golden ticket to the world's second largest marketplace -- 1.3 billion consumers eager for Australian products and services," Finlay says.

"It's an opportunity to supercharge the Australian economy at a time when access to larger markets is desperately needed, particularly for our agriculture sector.

"[Close] to a wealthier, choosier and hungrier Asian population, the opportunities for Australia's quality produce are endless. The need to ratify this agreement is now more important than ever."

The China FTA will remove 85% of the taxes and duties imposed on Australian goods this year, rising to 93% after four years and 95% when fully implemented.

"As the legislation is introduced into parliament today, we urge all sides of politics to restore confidence and rationality to the debate by offering bipartisan support for the agreement."

 

More like this

Ironic end to champion co-op

Westland Milk Products’ sale to Chinese interests is an ironic end to the co-op, which last August was named New Zealand’s 2018 Cooperative Business of the Year.

NZ setting the pace

Market researchers in Australia watch New Zealand advertising and products to see where the Australian industry needs to go in four or five years, says an expert in fast moving consumer goods (FMCG).

 
 

» The RNG Weather Report

» Latest Print Issues Online

The Hound

Yuck

This old mutt notes that millionaire Hollywood producer and advocate for mung bean farming James Cameron is happy to fly…

Showing the way

A mate of the Hound reckons some major agricultural companies wanting to promote their ideas and services could learn from…

» Connect with Rural News