“The government and Opposition should be congratulated for negotiating in good faith to secure the China-Australia Free Trade Agreement (ChAFTA) in what will be a win for Australian jobs, businesses and a strong economy for years to come,” Business Council of Australia Chief Executive Jennifer Westacott said.
“What today’s deal shows is that the major parties can put aside political differences and find common ground when the national interest is at stake, in this instance rising above a misleading fear campaign by some Australian unions,” Ms Westacott said.
“Ratifying the agreement by the 31 December deadline enables the full benefit of a double tariff cut to be realised for the Australian economy.
“A double tariff cut will immediately boost the competitiveness of a range of Australian sectors, in particular the coal industry which will now see all tariffs eliminated on exports to China from 2017. Coal exports to China were worth around $8.3 billion in 2014.
“By maintaining the functionality of work agreements and their core purpose, this deal will maintain the integrity of the Australian labour market while allowing the economy to benefit fully from the biggest bilateral trade agreement in our history,” Ms Westacott said.
For further information contact:
Scott Thompson, Director, Media and Public Affairs
Business Council of Australia
Telephone (03) 8664 2664 • Mobile 0403 241 128