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China-Australia Free Trade Agreement Comes into Force

After more than 10 years of talks, the China-Australia free trade agreement came into force over the weekend and the deal is expected to deliver benefits to exporters right away.

As of now, according to the Sydney Morning Herald, more than 85 percent of the goods Australia exports to China—which last year totaled roughly $86 million—will enter the country duty free.

Once the FTA is fully implemented over the coming years, 96 percent of Australian goods destined for China will be duty free.

As is the case with many countries, China is Australia’s largest trading partner, buying nearly a third of its exports.

Australia’s dairy and agriculture industries are expected to benefit the most, and Australian consumers will see cheaper Chinese goods like electronics, clothing and other household items.

Andrew Robb, Australia’s trade minister, said exporters will see a “double whammy” of tariff cuts, one round this weekend and another on Jan. 1.

“This will prove a major fillip for our exporters in market of 1.4 billion people which includes a rapidly rising middle class,” Robb told the Herald.