TFGA on the Australia-China Free Trade Agreement

The Tasmanian Farmers and Graziers Association today welcomed the free trade agreement with China, chief executive Jan Davis saying it would open bilateral investment opportunities in agriculture that had been elusive for too long.

“We can see major benefits for the dairy industry, for fruit and horticulture and for wine,” she said. “That’s a two-way opportunity. China is already the biggest market for our produce.

“Liberalising tariffs, giving us the same opportunities in China that New Zealand already enjoys through its free trade agreement with China, should see our trade grow.

“We can also help China with our knowledge and technology to increase their own production, which is usually counter-seasonal with our own and therefore not against our interests.

“The FTA is not a silver bullet; they seldom are; people should not anticipate instant results,” Ms Davis said.

“In some cases Chinese tariffs on Australian goods are being reduced, not eliminated; investment thresholds are being adjusted not abolished. Plus, the Chinese yuan is not subject to the same exchange rate volatility and uncertainty as the Australian dollar.

“Nevertheless, this is a great step forward for each country.”

Ms Davis said that over the next few days the TFGA would examine the agreement to look at impacts on specific sectors.
TFGA Chief Executive Jan Davis