After 10 years of continuous negotiations between two of the world’s largest countries, Australia’s Prime Minister Tony Abbot and China’s President Xi Jinping finally approved and completed a free trade agreement (FTA) contract today. However, Australian citizens, personalities, and other leaders were protesting about the agreement, looking at the industry negativities it could bring to their country in the next coming weeks, months, and years.
In defense of PM Tony Abbot, Trade and Investment Minister Andrew Robb publicly explained the benefits of the deal. Mr. Robb together with Chinese Commerce Minister Gao Hucheng were declared to be the representatives who will prepare the legal texts in Chinese and English language.
Mr. Robb said that there is nothing Australian citizens should worry about the deal as it will open positive industry gains and employment. He also added that this agreement has been in negotiation since 2005, and that complex factors have been well-thought of and considered—factors such as investments, imported and manufactured goods, and agricultural tariffs. Nonetheless, radio host Alan Jones said that the public would not accept the deal. “This would not pass the pub test and Mr. Abbot did not even have a mandate”, he added.
Concerns of the Australian Citizens
Among the largest winners from the deal were the mining sector, wine exporters, dairy farmers, energy products, and other Australian resources. Under this agreement, China can bring their skilled laborers to Australia once there are no available laborers in the country, which Mr. Robb said that this will not resort to local laborers’ problem. Other than these, no further details have been released as to what the two leaders have actually agreed upon. In fact, the text will be released after the contract signing next year, said the Opposition’s Penny Wong. Once signed, this becomes the third FTA deal Australia has completed following Japan and South Korea.
Another concern of the Australian analysts with the situation is the prediction that Australia could soon depend on China for its goods and services, which may not become visible in the early days after the agreement, but will be known in the months or years ahead.
The Upsides Of The Deal For Both Countries
The beauty of the FTA is that both sides win. The two countries can enjoy the perks of cheaper manufactured goods, more jobs, bigger foreign investments, higher wages, increases in the tourism sector, and more demands in logistic service providers.