Australia and China set to ratify FTA
"I am pleased today to be able to report to the parliament that Labor has been able to achieve significant concessions from the Government in negotiations to improve the China-Australia Free Trade Agreement," Labor Party leader Bill Shorten said.
The news was also praised by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull of the Liberal Party, who said the result marked a great day for Australia.
"We are an extraordinary nation. We have 23 million extraordinary Australians and we will benefit from China in a way that even the architects of the deal couldn’t have imagined," Turnbull said.
The International Center for Trade and Sustainable Development (ICTSD) reported the FTA had been controversial in Australia, particularly with some of the country’s major unions, sparking public protests and heated debates among legislators over whether the deal would lead to job losses in Australia.
Government officials had warned that a failure to pass the trade agreement in parliament could lead to China walking away from the deal entirely, according to the ICTSD.
They said delays in ratification could also be costly given the current schedule of tariff cuts in the deal.
The negotiations for the trade deal, known otherwise as ChAFTA, were concluded last November after a decade of negotiations, with the deal then signed in June of this year.