Australia-China

China and Australia have been in negotiations for what may be a major bilateral free trade deal.

A framework agreement for the potential FTA was signed in October 2003, and talks began in April 2005 after a feasibility study was conducted. Australia seeks a comprehensive agreement covering all sectors, while China seeks to limit the deal’s coverage and hoped to complete negotiations within two years. The pace of negotiations has been slow. Negotiations stalled for over a year after thehe 13th round of negotiations in December 2008. The 18th round of talks was held in Canberra in March 2012.

Australian manufacturers are worried about the potential influx of cheap Chinese goods while local horticulturalists and others are concerned about low wages and poor environmental and food safety standards behind China’s agricultural exports to Australia. Canberra, on the other hand, wants to gain more market access in China for Australian firms, including in the dairy sector where Chinese consumption is growing fast. (Australia trails behind New Zealand and the US in China’s dairy market.)

last update: May 2012


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  • 17-Aug-2015 Mornington News ETU sparks trade debate
    Frankston and Mornington residents have been receiving automated phone calls, part of a campaign by the Electrical Trades Union to “stop the China Free Trade Agreement” amid union fears electricians’ jobs are at risk.
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    Overzealous security has barred media from a public hearing into Australia’s free trade deal with China, prompting union claims of a cover-up.
  • 21-Jul-2015 Sydney Morning Herald China Free Trade Agreement: Unions call on Robb to ’set the record straight’
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    While the legal text of the China-Australia FTA (ChAFTA) was signed last week, the investment legal framework will be reviewed within the next three years with a view to commencing negotiations for a comprehensive Investment Chapter to be included in ChAFTA.
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    Rural real estate agents in Australia are taking advantage of the recent free trade agreement (FTA) between Australia and China by increasing farm sales to Chinese buyers.
  • 24-Jun-2015 Free trade agreement: Voters oppose China-Australia deal after hearing controversial elements: poll
    Voters in marginal seats across four states strongly oppose key aspects of Australia’s free trade agreement (FTA) with China, according to an opinion poll.
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