21 October 2015
NSW Farmers congratulates parties on reaching consensus on the China FTA NSW Farmers today welcomed news that the Federal Government and Opposition had reached a consensus position to ensure that the enabling legislation for the China Free Trade Agreement (FTA) is passed this calendar year. Trangie farmer and Chairman of the NSW Farmers Business, Economics and Trade Committee, Peter Wilson said: “I congratulate both the Coalition and Labor on engaging in a constructive manner and reaching a deal to ensure that this landmark agreement is ratified this calendar year.” “Ratification this year will ensure that agriculture captures up to $300 million in tariff reductions and other benefits that would have otherwise been in jeopardy. “It was also pleasing to see that agreement was reached to ratify the China FTA without any increase in the Temporary Skilled Migration Income Threshold (TSMIT). This would have increased the costs associated with 457 visas which are used widely in many agricultural sectors such as dairy and pork,” he said. Ratification of the China FTA follows a remarkable period of trade deal negotiations for Australia with deals having now been signed with Japan, Korea and China in addition to the Trans Pacific Partnership. While there is work to be done at home to ensure the benefits of these deals arrive at the farm gate, particularly though reforms to competition policy. But there is no doubt that Australian agriculture is now presented with an almost unprecedented opportunity for growth. Mr Wilson continued: “Australian farmers have always held the firm conviction that consumers around the world will demand more and more of Australia’s high quality produce if only Australian farmers are given the opportunity to sell it to them on a level playing field. “It is now time for Australian agriculture to come good on its conviction and take full advantage of the opportunities in this and other free trade agreements,” he concluded. ends
Contact: Veneta Chapple 0429 990 218
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