China plan only positive for some
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.”