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."

» Connect with Rural News

More like this

China still hungry for NZ dairy

Demand for New Zealand dairy products should remain solid despite China’s mixed economic outlook, says Imre Speizer, Westpac.

Bleeding out NZ?

OPINION: By 2050 China will own New Zealand agriculture and with it our country’s future.

Growers urged to keep track of ‘messy middle’

New Zealand and Australia have done “wonderful work” in their produce industries. 

But after it leaves the farm or orchard it can get into the “messy middle”, says Gary Loh, a Singapore blockchain entrepreneur.

» The RNG Weather Report

Featured

A big future ahead

Age hasn't been a barrier for young vegetable grower of the year Austin Singh Purewal.

 

Sheep and beef doing its bit

No increase in stock numbers in the sheep and beef sector is anticipated as the industry moves towards carbon neutrality, says Beef + Lamb NZ head of nutrition Fiona Windle.

Fonterra lifts milk price

Good news for Fonterra farmers – the co-op is increasing its 2019-20 forecast farmgate milk price by 30c/kgMS.

» Connect with Rural News

» Connect with Rural News

» The RNG Weather Report

» Latest Print Issues Online

The Hound

Chipping in

The Hound was intrigued to read an article recently, on the Newsroom website, that shows that Education Minister Chris ‘Chippy’…

I'm alright

This old mutt has been contacted by many concerned individuals about the role the former Synlait boss John Penno is…

 

» Connect with Rural News