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The minerals sector welcomes bipartisan deal on China Australia FTA

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World Coal,

The minerals sector has welcomed agreement between the Coalition Government and Labor Opposition that will pave the way for the early passage of the implementing legislation for the China-Australia Free Trade Agreement (ChAFTA).

The trade agreement is a watershed moment in Australia’s economic history. Together with the trade agreements with Japan and Korea, ChAFTA will anchor the Australian economy in East Asia for many decades to come and will provide increased opportunity and prosperity for future generations of Australians.

The minerals industry congratulates the Trade Minister Andrew Robb and the Shadow Trade Minister Senator Wong for their willingness to put Australia’s long-term economic interests first.

Importantly, today’s deal will ensure that ChAFTA comes into force before the end of the year, thus ensuring Australian exporters will benefit from a two-stage tariff cut – on entry-into-force and again on 1 January 2016.

The ChAFTA will strengthen a minerals and energy trade that is already worth more than US$80 billion annually. In specific terms, the deal will eliminate tariffs which currently range between 1.5% and 10%, on 11 minerals and energy commodities. These tariffs currently impose a burden of about US$600 million on the bilateral minerals and energy trade each year.

The deal will also provide new opportunities for Australia’s mining services sector in China’s minerals sector. Moreover, the ChAFTA is a ‘living agreement’ that provides for further rounds of liberalisation as well as review processes to ensure that the gains from the agreement are not circumvented by so called non-tariff barriers.

Edited from press release by

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