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Coalition secures China Free Trade Agreement



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Luke Hartsuyker MP Minister for Vocational Education and Skills Federal Member for Cowper

MEDIA RELEASE

Media Contact: Nikki Voss - 0408 070 056

Email: nikki.voss@aph.gov.au

October 21, 2015

Coalition Secures China Free Trade Agreement

Federal Member for Cowper Luke Hartsuyker has welcomed the bipartisan agreement to support the China- Australia Free Trade Agreement (ChAFTA) which will enhance the North Coast agricultural, business, and service sectors’ exposure to Australia’s biggest trading partner.

The House of Representatives is scheduled to sit extended hours to ensure the enabling legislation for ChAFTA can be fully considered and passed by the end of the week. The legislation passage is expected to pass through the Senate by the end of the year.

“For local agricultural businesses, including our North Coast beef, sugar, and macadamia farmers, dairy producers, and fruit and vegetable growers, this means removal of prohibitive tariffs. The flow-on effect is increased demand, which means more local jobs,” Mr Hartsuyker said.

“For businesses such as Norco who are already exporting to China, the elimination of tariffs under the China Free Trade Agreement makes their products even more competitive to Chinese importers.”

Mr Hartsuyker said ChAFTA would also benefit the North Coast teaching, nursing, education, training, research and health sectors.

“China is a rapidly growing market for our Australian horticultural products, with exports worth $56 million in 2014. Unfortunately China has also applied some of its highest tariffs on horticultural products, which has badly disadvantaged our farmers and exporters,” Mr Hartsuyker said.

Under ChAFTA, all tariffs on horticultural products will be progressively removed.

This includes:

• The elimination of the 10 to 25 per cent tariff on macadamia nuts, almonds, walnuts, pistachios and all other nuts within 4 years. • Removal of the 11 to 30 per cent tariff on all citrus fruits within 8 years. • Elimination of the 10 to 30 per cent tariff on all other fruit within 4 years. • Elimination of the 10 to 13 per cent tariff on all fresh vegetables within 4 years.

Australia already enjoys quarantine access protocols for export into China for many horticultural products, and will be able to take immediate advantage of tariff reductions for a range of products including citrus, grapes, almonds, macadamias, mangoes and some cherries.

“ChAFTA is good for local businesses and good for local jobs, and I am pleased to see the agreement moving towards implementation,” Mr Hartsuyker said.

Ends.