ABC News, Australia
China FTA will be comprehensive: Downer
7 August 2006
Foreign Affairs Minister Alexander Downer says Australia does not want to disrupt investment plans in the automotive and clothing industries through its free trade negotiations with China.
It is understood the issue was on the agenda at a federal Cabinet meeting today amid reports some ministers are concerned China will demand tariff cuts for the industries.
Mr Downer says it is a complex and difficult negotiation.
"This negotiation with China is just that, it’s a negotiation, and we want to make perfectly clear to the Chinese that we believe in a comprehensive and credible free trade agreement," Mr Downer said.
"We’re trying to squeeze concessions out of China just as they’re trying to squeeze concessions out of us."