Wednesday, 23 November 2022
Questions without Notice
My question is to the Minister representing the Minister for Trade and Tourism. Last night legislation to implement free trade agreements with India and the United Kingdom passed the parliament. How will these free trade agreements benefit Australian businesses and workers and support the Albanese Labor government's trade diversification strategy?
I thank the member for Lalor for her question. The Albanese Labor government believes in free, fair and open trade. We know that more trade means more export opportunities for Australian businesses and more high-paying jobs for Australian workers. One in four Australian jobs are related to trade, and jobs in export industries pay five per cent more, across national average income. That is why this government worked so hard over the last six months to successfully pass legislation to implement these free trade agreements with India and the United Kingdom just last night. This is a triumph for Australian exporters and for Australia's trade diversification strategy.
The Australia-India Economic Cooperation and Trade Agreement will deliver immediate benefits for Australia. Tariffs will be eliminated on 90 percent of Australian goods exported to India by value and significantly reduced on additional products, such as wine. Our services exports to India, worth $5 million in 2021, will benefit from improved predictability and access. This trade agreement presents incredible opportunities for Australian businesses to reach 1.4 billion consumers in the world's fastest-growing economy with a GDP of $4.3 trillion Australian dollars. That is especially in my portfolio of resources. Indeed, I met with my Indian counterpart, Minister Joshi, earlier this year to strengthen cooperation on the development of critical mineral projects and supply chains even in my electorate in Kwinana.
The Australia-United Kingdom Free Trade Agreement will deepen our already strong economic relationship with the UK, offering even more opportunities for our businesses to diversify our markets. It will cut tariffs on over 99 per cent of Australian goods exports to the UK. These agreements mean more Aussie exports and more jobs in agriculture, wine, mining critical minerals, education services, tourism, health care, renewable energy exports and technology.
I want to acknowledge the efforts of former ministers for trade, Senator Birmingham and the member for Wannon. The commencement of negotiations for free trade agreements go over many years, different terms of government, and withstand changes in government. The Indian free trade agreement was commenced under Labor's Julia Gillard as Prime Minister, and it is Labor's trade minister, Senator Don Farrell, and the Albanese Labor government that has delivered the legislation for the India agreement and the UK free trade agreement.
Honourable members interjecting—
We helped you get all those through the parliament. Don't you forget that either. We started negotiations for that as well. That also started under Prime Minister Gillard. You need to know, and the people of Australia need to know that Labor supports free trade agreements. We always have and we always will.