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The China-Australia Free Trade Agreement

The benefits for Australians exporting goods to China are significant and extend to the removal or reduction of tariffs, larger quotas for certain limited goods, and streamlined custom processes. A total of 98% of Australian products exported to China are admitted tax-free or at preferential prices. Essentially, the negotiated terms have given Australia a significant competitive advantage in the Chinese market over some of our major competitors such as the United States, Canada, the EU and New Zealand, particularly in our agri-food and processing sector. Among the main results, ChAFTA offers Australia significant preferential market access: more than 85% of Australian products exported to China (in 2013) are now duty-free after entry into force and increase to 93% after four years and 95% if chAFTA is fully implemented. Australia and China signed the China Australia Free Trade Agreement (ChAFTA) on June 17, 2015, which came into force on December 20, 2015. Trade negotiations have secured many future benefits to Australia with Australia`s largest trading partner, China. The largest beneficiaries are those working in agriculture, manufacturing, services, investment, resources and energy. China also accepted a special clause recognizing Australia as the “most favoured nation” (MFN). This allows Australian companies to access the same agreements that China has in the area of free trade agreements with other nations (such as the United States) that could provide better access to the Chinese market. Trade Minister Simon Birmingham said the government would “continue to provide all possible administrative, diplomatic and political support to ensure that our exporters maintain the kind of market access they should have in China.” ChAFTA will enhance trade and investment between countries by reducing barriers to labour mobility and improving temporary access to temporary access within the existing immigration and employment safeguards of each country. It said it understood that it could be years before it was completed and heard concerns from some exporters that such a move could “make matters worse in the broader trade dispute.” “But how much worse can it be?” Madeleine King, Minister of Parallel Trade, blames the coalition for not creating deep links in the full implementation of the agreement. 95% of Australia`s exports to China will be duty-free.

These include many agricultural products, including beef and dairy products.

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