Opposition Should Heed Growing Labor ChAFTA Support

“Support for the China-Australia Free Trade Agreement (ChAFTA) from three Labor state leaders demonstrates the overwhelming benefits of the deal to Australia’s economy”, Business Council of Australia Chief Executive Jennifer Westacott said.

“The fact that Labor leaders from New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia, along with several Labor luminaries, have declared their backing of ChAFTA starkly brings into question why the federal Opposition is continuing to play politics with this vital trade deal,” Ms Westacott said.

“Support from respected Labor figures such as Bob Hawke, Bob Carr, Simon Crean and Martin Ferguson, as well as the leaders of three states, surely must signal that ChAFTA is good for our economy, good for our jobs, and good for our future and must be ratified.

“The federal Opposition should listen to the growing voices from within its own party and immediately agree to ratify ChAFTA so Australia can begin to take advantage of the growth and job creating opportunities of the biggest bilateral trade deal in our history.

“Concerns about safeguards in the agreement are unnecessary. There are already robust and substantial safeguards to ensure the integrity of Australia’s labour market is maintained.

“Australia has a clear choice – ratify the agreement and get on with reaping the benefits or be swayed by a mischievous and wrong union campaign and risk losing a deal that might never come our way again.

“The Business Council of Australia is concerned Australia is on the verge of kicking a massive own goal if ChAFTA is not ratified and is prepared to campaign hard to ensure debate is informed by facts instead of fear”, she said.

For further information contact:
Scott Thompson, Director, Media and Public Affairs
Business Council of Australia
Telephone (03) 8664 2664 • Mobile 0403 241 128