Pressure mounting on Labor to support China FTA

Pressure mounting on Labor to support China FTA

Pressure is mounting on Opposition Leader Bill Shorten to support Australia’s Free Trade Agreement with China, with Victorian Labor Premier Daniel Andrews coming out in support of the deal.

Federal Labor has raised concerns about the FTA, saying the plan to remove labour market testing will see foreign workers hired before Australian workers.

But Mr Andrews has acknowledged he has a different stance to his federal colleagues.

“The Chinese free trade agreement is good news for Victorian jobs and I support it,” Mr Andrews said yesterday.

It comes after South Australia’s Labor Premier Jay Weatherill has also come out in support of the deal.

“We support the China-Australia free trade agreement … it’s a great way for us to underscore the fact that South Australia is open for business with China,” he said.

Federal Trade Minister Andrew Robb and welcomed the approval of Victoria and South Australia, and says Mr Shorten should take a leaf out of their books.

“Sadly, Bill Shorten, who’s led by the nose by the CFMEU, is still way out of touch on this issue,” he said.

But Shadow Treasurer Chris Bowen says the Opposition does support free trade with China, but it wants to ensure safeguards are in place for Australian jobs.

“What we want to do is sit down with the Government, come up with a sensible solution so that the China free trade agreement can be enacted and we can put this debate behind us,” he told the ABC.

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Libby Dreyer
Libby Dreyer 1729 posts

Libby has worked as a Senior Journalist at National Radio News since February 2011. She graduated with a Bachelor of Journalism from the University of Canberra in December 2010.

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