Free Trade deal with China a win for Hinkler

Wednesday, 17 June 2015

Australia has signed a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with China, building on the positive outcomes already generated by recent trade deals with Korea and Japan to create jobs and economic growth in Hinkler.

Federal Member for Hinkler Keith Pitt said Australia’s FTAs with Korea and Japan were only months old, but horticulture exports had already increased compared to a year ago.

“Similarly, the agreement with China is expected to provide a catalyst for future growth across a variety of areas including goods, services and investment,” Mr Pitt said.

Signed in Canberra this week by the Minister for Trade and Investment Andrew Robb, the landmark China-Australia Free Trade Agreement (ChAFTA) will improve market access to the world’s second largest economy for Hinkler businesses – large and small.

“Under ChAFTA, 95 per cent of Australian goods exports will be tariff free. This includes the abolition of tariffs on our clean, green, premium agricultural products, as well as on a range of Australian manufactured goods such as pharmaceutical products, car engines, plastic products and processed food,” Mr Pitt said.

He said the biggest winners locally would be Hinkler’s farming, seafood and manufacturing businesses, opening up opportunities for expansion. 

“China is Australia’s largest agriculture and fisheries export market, worth $9 billion in 2013-14, up from $5 billion in 2010-11,” he said.

“China’s demand for high-quality agriculture and food products is growing rapidly. The Australian Bureau of Agriculture and Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES) predicts that China will account for 43 per cent of global growth in agricultural demand by 2050.

“Until now, the absence of a bilateral FTA with China has meant Australian producers and exporters have faced significant tariffs on agricultural products, putting them at a competitive disadvantage compared to countries like New Zealand and Chile. The China-Australia Free Trade Agreement will give Australia a significant advantage over larger players, such as the US, EU and Canada.”

Mr Pitt said ChAFTA would not only improve Australia’s competitive position in the rapidly growing Asian market, but would also promote increased two-way investment and reduces import costs.

“For example, the removal of the five per cent tariff on Chinese manufacturing exports is expected to make electronics and white goods cheaper for Australians,” he said.

The agreement will enter-into-force by the end of the year, after the completion of domestic legal and parliamentary processes in China and Australia.

Horticulture

Under the Agreement, all tariffs on horticultural products will be progressively eliminated:

•           Elimination of the 10 to 25 per cent tariff on macadamia nuts, almonds, walnuts, pistachios and all other nuts within 4 years

•           Elimination of the 11 to 30 per cent tariff on oranges, mandarins, lemons and all other citrus fruits within 8 years

•           Elimination of the 10 to 30 per cent tariff on all other fruit within 4 years

•           Elimination of the 10 to 13 per cent tariff on all fresh vegetables within 4 years

Seafood

Tariffs on all Australian seafood exports will be eliminated progressively:

•           Elimination of the 14 per cent tariff on crabs, oysters, scallops and mussels within 4 years

•           Elimination of the up-to-8 per cent tariffs on prawns within 4 years

•           Elimination of the 10-14 per cent tariff on abalone within 4 years

•           Elimination of the 15 per cent tariff on rock lobster within 4 years

•           Elimination of the 12 per cent tariff on southern bluefin tuna, salmon, trout and swordfish within 4 years

Alcoholic beverages

•           Tariffs of up to 65 per cent on other alcoholic beverages and spirits will be eliminated within 4 years. 

Processed foods

•           Elimination of the 7.5 to 30 per cent tariff on orange juice within 7 years, and elimination of tariffs of up to 30 per cent on other fruit juices within 4 years

•           Elimination of the 15 to 25 per cent tariff on canned tomatoes, peaches, pears and    apricots within 4 years

•           Elimination of the 15 to 20 per cent tariff on biscuits and cakes within 4 years

•           Elimination of the 15 per cent tariff on natural honey, and the up-to-25 per cent tariff on honey-related products, within 5 years

•           Elimination of the 15 per cent tariff on pasta within 4 years

•           Elimination of the 8 to 10 per cent tariff on chocolate within 4 years

The full ChAFTA text is available online at www.dfat.gov.au/chafta, along with detailed fact sheets and handy reference guides.

[ENDS]