China plan only pos­i­tive for some

Isis Town and Country - - News -

NUT, fruit and veg­etable grow­ers in the re­gion will be the big win­ners of a Free Trade Agree­ment signed with China last week, while cane­grow­ers have been left out in the cold.

Fed­eral Mem­ber for Hin­kler Keith Pitt said the agree­ment built on pos­i­tive out­comes al­ready be­ing ex­pe­ri­enced from Aus­tralia’s re­cent FTAs with Korea and Ja­pan, with hor­ti­cul­ture ex­ports al­ready in­creas­ing 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 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 busi­nesses large and small.

“Un­der ChAFTA, 95% 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.

Although the FTA brings good news for most in­dus­tries, it seems the sugar in­dus­try has been left out of the deal which comes to no sur­prise for di­rec­tor and deputy of Cane­grow­ers Bund­aberg Tony Cas­tro.

“It’s be­come ap­par­ent that our gov­ern­ment trade min­is­ter and his ne­go­tia­tors give in very easily when these coun­tries say that sugar has to be ex­cluded out of any FTA.”

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