China-Australia deal could be a win for local producers

A LANDMARK China-Australia Free Trade Agreement could bring benefits to local producers.

The deal was signed off by Prime Minister Tony Abbott and Chinese President Xi Jinping in Canberra on Monday.

Chinese goods will be cheaper and tariffs on Australia’s key mining and farm exports will be scrapped under the free trade deal.


The agreement has been 10 years in the making with talks spanning the Howard, Rudd, Gillard and Abbott governments.

The agreement – which still requires a parliamentary inquiry and legislation – will ensure 85 per cent of all Australian exports will enter China tariff-free, rising to 93 per cent within four years and 95 per cent when it is in full force.

The Nationals Duty Senator for Richmond John Williams says the agreement will give beef producers, sheep producers, dairy farmers and wine producers unparalleled access to the world’s second largest economy.

He said for beef producers, tariffs of 12 to 25 percent will be phased out over nine years.

Tariffs up to 15% on cheese, liquid milk, butter and yogurt will be phased out over nine years

Tariffs on seafood including rock lobster, abalone, oysters and salmon will be phased out over four years.

A number of other sectors will also see tariffs phased out over the coming years.

“I am pleased to see the agreement to scrutinise foreign investment,” Senator Williams said.

“Australian households and businesses will be able to take advantage of lower-priced goods and components such as vehicles, household goods, electronics and clothing,” he added.

The Australian government will continue to screen all Chinese state-owned enterprise investment in Australia. However, private companies will have greater access to the Australian market.