It understood that it could be years before it was completed and that it had heard concerns from some exporters that such a measure could “make matters worse” in the wider trade dispute. “But on the other hand, how much worse can it be?” Apart from this, Australia and China also signed a Memorandum of Understanding this week to set up official renminbi clearing (RMB) agreements in Australia. This will make it easier for Australian exporters to carry out RMB`s cross-border transactions, with the potential to reduce the cost of these transactions by 2-3% by reducing the need for hedging against forex risks. These measures are an additional asset to Australia`s export competitiveness. Madeleine King, spokeswoman for the laboratory for trade policy, also strongly supported the Morrison government`s plan to bring China to the World Trade Organization over barley tariffs, a move trade experts have warned could take up to three years. ChAFTA will strengthen export momentum and give Australian exports an advantage over major competitors from the US, Canada and the EU. It also puts Australia on an equal footing with competitors from countries like New Zealand and Chile, which have already negotiated trade deals with China. King argued, however, that the coalition had a “set-and-forget” attitude to free trade agreements, where agreements would not be accompanied by adequate monitoring and relationship building. The China-Australia Free Trade Agreement (ChAFTA) entered into force on 20 December 2015.
Andrew Robb, Australia`s Minister for Trade and Investment, a signatory to ChAFTA, said: “This historic agreement with our largest trading partner will support future economic growth, job creation and a higher standard of living by strengthening trade in goods and services as well as investment. . . .