some concern among local manufacturers about a Free Trade Agreement with China, which could be signed at the G20 meeting in Brisbane next month.
An Ai Group submission to the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade included a survey of
160 Australian manufacturers, finding that just over half of them believed a removal
of tariffs on Chinese goods would be a negative.
Just over 11
per cent believed they would benefit, and about a fifth were uncertain, which
the AiG said reflected a lack of transparency around negotiations.
“The study also highlights
that the Australia-China FTA has the potential to bring enormous benefits to
Australian industry through greater access to the world’s second-largest
economy,” said the Ai Group’s chief executive Innes Willox in a statement.
“However, realising this
potential will require skillful and determined negotiation and close attention
to the diversity of the Australian economy.”
The group recommended a
phasing out period of tariff cuts to help local manufacturers adjust, as well
as addressing concerns around anti-dumping, IP, and safety standards.
“The Australian-China FTA
could, if delivered well, enable local manufacturers to source
competitively-priced inputs and find more opportunities in global supply
chains, yet only 11.2% of manufacturing respondents in the survey expect their
business to benefit from an Australia-China FTA,” said Willox.
trade worth was $150 billion last year, nearly double the value of Australia’s trade partnership with Japan, Bloomberg notes.
To read the Ai Group’s
submission, click here.
Image: Tomohiro Ohsumi/Bloomberg