Senate debates

Thursday, 10 December 2020

Questions without Notice

Trade with China

2:41 pm

Photo of Simon BirminghamSimon Birmingham (SA, Liberal Party, Minister for Trade) Share this | Hansard source

on indulgence—Can I again acknowledge, with the late Susan Ryan's family in the gallery, the enormous contribution that she made, in a groundbreaking way, to this nation.

I thank Senator McKenzie for her question. There is no stronger advocate for so many of Australia's exporting industries than Senator McKenzie, and indeed I know full well how strongly she and all members on our side have championed the interests of our export industries in recent years. In recent years our government has succeeded in bringing into force more trade agreements that provide more opportunities for new markets than any other government in Australian history.

The Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership included new free trade agreements with markets in Canada and Mexico, and in doing so eliminated more than 98 per cent of tariffs across them. The Indonesia-Australia Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement sees this year over 99 per cent of Australian goods exported by value entering duty free or under significantly improved preferential access. It is a long-sought-after agreement with Indonesia that we have secured and delivered. The Hong Kong agreement guarantees all Australian goods enter duty free. The Peru agreement eliminates more than 99 per cent of tariffs by 2024. PACER Plus, I am pleased to say, will enter into force this Sunday and will support our Pacific neighbours, particularly in their economic recovery from COVID-19. These come on top of the trade agreements negotiated earlier in the life of our government with the three large north Asian countries of China, Korea and Japan.

On Tuesday this week we brought into force our world-leading digital economy agreement with Singapore, which improves regional digital trading conditions and makes it easier for exporters to do business. Meanwhile, we have implemented some 26 of the actions under the 15-year India economic strategy of our government, delivering opportunities in that market and in so many others for Australian businesses to grow.


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