CHINA-AUSTRALIA FREE TRADE AGREEMENT
The landmark China-Australia Free Trade Agreement (ChAFTA) will unlock substantial new benefits for Australians for years to come. ChAFTA will add billions to the economy, create jobs and drive higher living standards for Australians. Australian businesses will have unprecedented access to the world’s second largest economy. Building on trade deals already concluded with Korea and Japan, ChAFTA forms part of a powerful trifecta of agreements with Australia’s three largest export markets that account for more than 61 per cent of our
exports of goods. More than 85 per cent of Australian goods exports will be tariff free upon entry into force, rising to 93 per cent in four years. Some of these goods are currently subject to tariffs of up to 40 per cent. On full implementation of ChAFTA, 95 per cent of Australian goods exports to China will be tariff free. Australian households and businesses will also reap the benefits of cheaper goods and components from China such as vehicles, household goods, electronics and clothing, placing downward pressure on the cost of living and the cost of doing business. Significantly, tariffs will be abolished for Australia’s $13 billion dairy industry. Australia’s beef and sheep farmers will also gain from the abolition of tariffs ranging from 12-25 per cent and all tariffs on Australian horticulture will be eliminated.
Tariffs on Australian wine of 14 to 30 per cent will go within four years, while restrictive tariffs on a wide range of seafood, including abalone, rock lobster, and southern bluefin tuna will also cease within four years. The tariffs on coking coal will be removed on day one, with the tariff on thermal coal phasing out over two years. Tariffs will be also eliminated on a wide range of Australian manufactured goods, including pharmaceutical products and car engines. Legal services, financial services, education, telecommunications, tourism and travel, construction and engineering, health and aged care services, mining and extractive industries, manufacturing services, architecture and urban planning, as well as transport, among others, will all benefit from being able to do business in China more easily. Both countries have undertaken to conduct respective legal reviews of the concluded text and prepare Chinese and English language versions for signature in 2015.