China trade agreement will benefit region: MP
THE trade agreement with China reached after nine years of talks will deliver significant benefits for the Gladstone region, according to Member for Flynn Ken O'Dowd.
Mr O'Dowd said because China was the country's biggest trading partner, the agreements would add billions of dollars to the Australian economy and create tens of thousands of jobs in the years ahead.
Prime Minister Tony Abbott signed a "declaration of intent" regarding the agreement on Monday.
Reports on the deal said it included terms that allowed 85% of all Australian exports to enter China "tariff-free", to rise to 93% in four years.
All tariffs on dairy products will be phased out over four to 11 years, and tariffs on beef will be removed within nine years.
Tariffs also will be removed from all resources and energy products, including iron ore, gold, coking coal and non-coking coal.
Mr O'Dowd said the region would particularly benefit from the elimination of tariffs on exports of dairy products, seafood, horticulture, beef and coal.
The China-Australia Free Trade Agreement is expected to give Australian exporters unprecedented levels of market access to the world's second largest economy.
The Flynn MP has just spent the past week in Japan and Korea to "help develop stronger relationships with these trade partners to bring real benefits back home to business and industry in Flynn and the rest of Australia".
Households and businesses will also reap the benefits of cheaper goods and components imported from China such as vehicles, household goods, electronics and clothing, placing downward pressure on the cost of living and the cost of doing business.
"This is an outstanding agreement, which will translate into greater economic growth, more jobs and higher living standards for the households and businesses of Flynn," Mr O'Dowd said.