27 August , 2015
Every day that Labor remains at the beck and call of the anti-free trade unions is another day that Tasmanian exporters face high tariffs on their products into China.
"Unions are leading the charge against the China Australia Free Trade Agreement (ChAFTA), in a campaign based on xenophobia and misinformation. It appears Labor will follow anything the unions say and put at risk local jobs and higher wages," Senator Richard Colbeck, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Agriculture said.
"Tasmanian Labor Senator Ann Urquhart's speech about ChAFTA in the Senate last week was an absolute disgrace and could only be described as xenophobic. It's yet another example of Bill Shorten's failed leadership of the Labor party that is seeing them give in to union demands.
"For the sake of Tasmanian businesses, workers and families we need to bring ChAFTA into force by the end of this year.
"It will create opportunities for Tasmanian businesses to expand their operations into the Chinese market - such as the horticulture industry which will experience the elimination of tariffs ranging up to 30 per cent.
"An example is Tasmanian business Oz Honey, the largest honey company in Tasmania, which will be able to export product to China without the 15 per cent tariff which is set to be eliminated over 4 years.
"The flow on benefits to Tasmania will be significant, but these won't be realised if Labor and the unions have their way. The unions claim they are standing up for local jobs, but their antics will cost local businesses dearly the entry into force of ChAFTA is delayed."
The benefits are even recognised by former Labor Premier and former Foreign Minister Bob Carr who said: "There will be more jobs and higher wages in Australia if the China FTA goes ahead".
For the sake of Australian workers, it's vital that Labor end their xenophobic campaign against ChAFTA and acknowledge the benefits that will flow to the Australian community.