National Farmers' Federation

China FTA – Labor Must Put Australia First

The Labor Party must publicly reject the misleading claims being propagated by the union movement in relation to the China-Australia Free Trade Agreement, leading business groups say. The Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the National Farmers’ Federation and the Minerals Council of Australia welcome the public support for ChAFTA by senior Labor figures and urge the Parliamentary Labor Party to pledge bipartisan support for the agreement. ChAFTA will bring massive job opportunities for Australians. Claims that the FTA will allow for cheap, unqualified Chinese workers in Australia are false and have been comprehensively discredited by experts. The agreement will not allow Australian employment laws or conditions to be undermined. Instead, it will create more job opportunities so we can maintain our high standard of living ChAFTA is the culmination of 10 years’ work by both sides of Australian politics. The Australian business community is seeking bipartisan support to pass the enabling legislation through Parliament this year. A growing list of senior public figures have explained why they reject the union campaign of misinformation and support ChAFTA: • “I am all in favour of it. The party must not go backwards on this issue — the party and the trade union movement. Talk of opposing it is just absolutely against Australia’s best interests.” – Former Prime Minister Bob Hawke • “There will be more jobs and higher wages in Australia if the China FTA goes ahead.” – Former Foreign Minister and NSW Premier Bob Carr • “It’s a quality and comprehensive agreement… this is an agreement that should be supported” – Former Trade Minister Simon Crean • “The Chinese free trade agreement is good news for Victorian jobs and I support it.”– Premier of Victoria Daniel Andrews • “We support the China-Australia free trade agreement … it’s a great way for us to underscore the fact that South Australia is open for business with China.” – Premier of South Australia Jay Weatherill • “Free trade encourages job growth. It’s not free trade but the Australia/China preferential trade agreement will be good for #CBR exporters.” – Australian Capital Territory Chief Minister Andrew Barr • “Labor has led the way on engagement with China. The next step is a free-trade agreement. Our future prosperity will rely on increased exports, particularly of non-mining goods and services.” – NSW Opposition Leader Luke Foley • “Of course I support the free trade agreement with China.”– Premier of Queensland Annastacia Palaszczuk • “This is an agreement that’s been negotiated over a decade, and it represents a very careful balance of interests. Once you start to unpick one element of it, the thing will unravel.” – Former Australian Ambassador to China Dr Geoff Raby For more, visit www.supportfreetrade.com.au

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