What the FTA with China really means… 205



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Yesterday, history was made when Tony Abbott and Xi Jinping the Chinese President signed a Free Trade Agreement between Australia and China that will have huge implications for all of us over the next 10 years. This deal will mean that about 85% of Australian exports will enter China tariff free and it is worth about $18 billion over the coming decade.

FTAs can be a little confusing to really understand who wins and who loses in them. So we’ve put a short list together for you. Australia is becoming more and more expensive and Australian consumers are looking for cheaper alternative options. This means industries have been struggling to support themselves so parts of this FTA are very welcome.


Australian Agriculture 

  • All tariffs on dairy products will be phased out over four to 11 years
  • Tariffs on wines will be removed over four years
  • Tariffs on beef gone within nine years

According to the Sydney Morning Herald, China bought $9 billion worth of Australian agricultural products in 2013. This is wonderful news for our farmers in these industries as it means they can enjoy much easier market access to the Chinese market.



  • Removal of tariffs on all resources and energy products, including iron ore, gold and coking coal
  • Removal of tariffs on non-coking coal over two years
  • Removal of tariffs on pharmaceuticals over four years

China imports around $85 billion worth of Australian resources and energy every year. At the moment this is a declining industry and this means that Australian resource companies can be boosted by easily accessing the Chinese market for these things. Also, China’s ageing populations means that the pharmaceutical tariff removal means Australian pharmaceutical companies will also benefit from the FTA.



  • The removal of tariffs within four years for other manufactured products

This means that Australian and Australian manufacturers have easier access to the Chinese market and vice versa. This suggests that we can expect to see a fall in the price of Chinese brands for consumer products like home-wares, fashion and jewellery.




  • The threshold for private, non-state-owned, investment from China in non-sensitive sectors to go to the Foreign Investment Review Board will increase from $248 million to $1.08 billion.
  • The Australian government will screen investments over $15 million in telecommunications, media and defence industries and in agricultural land, as well as investments in agribusiness over $53 million.

Total Chinese investment in Australia jumped 41.2 per cent in 2013 to $31.9 billion, but China only accounts for 1.3 per cent of total foreign investment. As they will have better market access in Australia, this will make job creation in Australia easier for Chinese owned companies operating in Australia.


So there are the key points from the FTA with China. It seems as though Australia will be reaping the rewards and it is especially nice to see dairy farmers getting a boost.

Are you happy we have signed a FTA with China? Are you glad these industries will be better off? 



Starts at 60 Writers

The Starts at 60 writers team seek out interesting topics and write them especially for you.

  1. Not good. Australia will be a dumping ground for cheep junk products, dangerous toys, clothing made with toxic chemicals, not to mention Chinese companies will bring in workers from China, and junk automobiles, and food grown in toxic conditions.

    4 REPLY
    • It’s not what the Australian consumer “wants” Berndt..it’s what a lot of Aussies can afford because we have lost so much of our production here sometimes either the Aussie made product is unaffordable, or the cheap imported crap is all that is available.

  2. I feel sorry for small businesses. Check out who owns what used to be Aussie meat works, large tracts of pastoral land and the big corporations like Coles and Woolworths … and the flood gates have been opened to the Chinese … So much for ‘Buy Australian made’ …

  3. I think over all and in the long term the FTA with China will be of benefit to Australia. It is a complex issue and what it exactly means and how it will effect us as individuals is beyond my understanding of the nuts and bolts. We will wait and see.

    2 REPLY
    • The only Aussies who will benefit are the likes of Grabbitt’s bff Gina who is set to make even more billions (on top of the $4 billion coal grant from Grabbitt) with this trade agreement. Won’t be benefitting the rest of us.

  4. So does that mean that they can buy our hospitals & nursing homes & only allow their own nationality into them, like some of the other nationalities have done in Victoria?

  5. Basically we have handed over the paddock on a plate …..

    6 REPLY
    • ” Stupid is as stupid does ” & you people certainly are exactly what Forrest would have been referring to . It appears the labor party contingent never learnt financial management or international trading . The perfect example is Swan was unable to give an approximate figure on the debt as the election approached & Gillard had less an idea . If the divisional manager has no idea & the manager has no idea what the hell were they employed for ? You mob have as much an idea as those two . Now I will block your stupid comments as they arrive but I know you mob are so stupid you will still comment ! Go for it ” stupid ” !

    • I totally agree with you phil you have taken the words right out of my mouth not interested in labour opinions either will block them also.

    • Phil McTaggart your comments have been deleted. Thanks all for your comments BUT – all personal attacks will have the abuser banned for 24 hours at first and permanently afterwards. We are not tolerating either side of an argument becoming rude or offensive.

  6. We will all pay more for the products we are selling to them. Like the lamb we export, look at the price we have to pay for it now when once it was a cheap meal for us.

  7. Can’t understand how anyone can question this ! This ” company ” ( called Australia ) has just increased it’s income by billions of dollars , that is billions of dollars that will go into businesses here & into ” your ” company from our additional sales . If you relate it to debit & credit , the balance is $17 billion in credit over one year , not a bad profit margin & I’m sure Gates would be quite happy to get that sought of return . The base line is , if the unions will allow it , more employment but I am sure that won’t happen . We can only compete in limited areas because of our wages for paying nearly $50 per hour against a country ( the US for instance ) of $17 per hour , we are limiting our competitiveness !

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