Australian exporters reap benefits of free trade agreements

Australian businesses will continue to reap the benefits of Australia’s free trade agreements with further tariff cuts set to boost Australia’s competitive advantage in two of our major export markets.

Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment Simon Birmingham said the latest round of tariff cuts on January 1, 2019, under trade agreements with China and Korea would build on the substantial economic benefits these two major agreements had already delivered for Australian exporters.

“China and Korea are two of our largest trading partners, and these tariff reductions will provide a significant boost for Australian businesses looking for export opportunities into these markets,” he said.

“With Australian goods exports to China already totalling $106 billion, this latest round of cuts means tariffs have now been eliminated on 5418 products and give Australian exporters an even greater competitive edge in the Chinese market.”

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Trade had contributed more than one-quarter of Australia’s economic growth over the past five years, and these agreements were yielding results with Australia having recorded trade surpluses for 21 of the last 24 months, he said.

Over the past five years total trade covered by agreements has risen from 26 per cent to almost 70 per cent, said Birmingham.

The latest round of tariff cuts is the fifth under the China-Australia Free Trade Agreement and the sixth under the Korea-Australia Free Trade Agreement.