FEDERAL Lyons MP Eric Hutchinson today welcomed Australia’s landmark free trade agreement with China as great news for Tasmania.

“This agreement is truly unprecedented whether it be for agriculture including dairy, energy, manufacturing or infrastructure – and all of those areas are strongly represented in Tasmania,’’ Mr Hutchinson said.

Mr Hutchinson said that he was particularly pleased to see that a specific (duty free CSQ) quota of 30,000 tonnes had been introduced for wool.

“I have lobbied strongly on behalf of the Australian Wool Council of Exporters to have a specific quota introduced so it’s wonderful to see it has been included,’’ he said.

The China-Australia Free Trade Agreement will give Australian exporters unprecedented market access to the world’s second largest economy with a population of 1.36 billion and a rapidly growing middle class.

Mr Hutchinson said that more than 85 per cent of Australian goods exports (by value) will be tariff free from the start of the agreement rising to 93 per cent within four years.

“The agreement will deliver significant wins for Australian – and particularly in my home state of Tasmania – across key areas such as agriculture, resources and energy, manufacturing exports, services and investment,’’ Mr Hutchinson said.

Households and businesses will also reap the benefits of cheaper goods and components imported from China such as vehicles, household goods, electronics and clothing placing downward pressure on the cost of living and the cost of doing business.

Mr Hutchinson said that the Government had also secured an unprecedented deal for a broad range of Australian services.

This will be of particular advantage to Tasmania’s aged care jurisdiction, Mr Hutchinson said.
Federal Lyons MP Eric Hutchinson