Trade Equals Opportunity from ChAFTA Enabling Legislation

“The passage of enabling legislation for the China-Australia Free Trade Agreement (ChAFTA), introduced in Parliament today, will ensure Australia seizes the full opportunities from its biggest ever bilateral trade deal,” Business Council Chief Executive Jennifer Westacott said.

“There has never been a better trade agreement for creating Australian jobs, for opening up tremendous opportunities for our businesses to lift their exports and grow, and for investment from our biggest trading partner in our economy,” Ms Westacott said.

“All Australians who want a better future should call on the Labor Party to support the passage of this legislation and back the ChAFTA without amendment or delay.

“ChAFTA will drive the resilience and growth of the Australian economy for years to come. A range of tariffs relating to Australia’s key resources will be removed. The agreement will remove tariffs and other barriers to the services, manufacturing, finance, and agriculture sectors so that these industries can access China’s rapidly growing consumer class.

“Failure to ratify the agreement by 31 December 2015 will mean Australia misses out on an immediate double tariff cut next year. 

“The costs of delay are not trivial - around $300 million in benefits in 2016 for rural communities would be lost, and thermal and coking coal will face $4.6 million per week in extra tariff payments.

“Failure to ratify is estimated to cost $4 billion and almost 10,000 jobs in financial services alone, by 2030.

“The Labor Party should consider what is being risked by the dishonest campaign waged by the unions and the continued politicking around the ChAFTA.

“Failure to ratify the agreement would have serious ongoing ramifications for Australia’s economy, for Australian jobs, and for the bilateral relationship with our biggest trading partner well beyond the life of this parliament,” Ms Westacott said.

For the latest information on the BCA's campaign in support of ChAFTA

Submission to the Senate Comittee Inquiry into the China-Australia Free Trade Agreement (ChAFTA)