Free trade deals not to be feared

Joondalup Weekender - - Opinion -

PUB­LIC aware­ness of re­cent free trade agree­ments en­tered into with Ja­pan, Korea, and China is only just be­gin­ning to gain trac­tion.

Ba­si­cally, “free trade” equates to “duty free” trade be­tween coun­tries.

For ex­am­ple, the present 15 per cent tar­iff im­posed by the Chi­nese Gov­ern­ment on Aus­tralian rock lob­ster ex­ports, such as those sourced from the lo­cal industry

based around Min­darie and Two Rocks, will be elim­i­nated over four years; as will the tar­iff of be­tween 10 to 13 per cent levied by China on fresh veg­eta­bles, grown lo­cally in Cara­booda and Gin­gin.

I am of­ten asked if free trade and for­eign in­vest­ment will be ben­e­fi­cial to the liv­ing stan­dards of Aus­tralians.

The an­swer to the ques­tion is that it de­pends largely on the com­mer­cial terms of the in­di­vid­ual le­gal agree­ments en­tered into be­tween par­ties.

Only pru­dently ne­go­ti­ated and care­fully doc­u­mented con­tracts will yield the most ben­e­fit for the busi­nesses in­volved in sup­ply­ing over­seas mar­kets.

As a na­tion, we should not be afraid of free trade agree­ments but un­der­stand that they bring in­creased com­pe­ti­tion, less tax­a­tion,

as well as sig­nif­i­cant op­por­tu­ni­ties for eco­nomic ad­vance­ment. IAN GOOD­E­NOUGH, MP, Fed­eral Mem­ber for Moore.

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