Sydney Opera House and Bridge in Australia, Nov 11, 2014. [Photo/IC]
Australians who oppose the China-Australia Free Trade Agreement should look at the larger picture of bilateral trade and the great impact it will have on China-Australia interaction and regional economic integration.
Some in Australia are saying the deal will destroy jobs. According to a Reuters report on Sept 8, Bill Shorten, leader of Australia's center-left opposition Labor Party, has vowed to withhold support for the deal in parliament unless greater protections are introduced for Australian workers. In response, Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott called opposition to the deal "xenophobic at best, racist at worst" during a parliamentary debate last week.
The deal, signed between the two countries in June, is absolutely a win-win arrangement for both countries.
Estimates indicate it is worth $18 billion, which will certainly boost job creation in Australia.
At a time when both countries face an economic slowdown, the FTA deal will pave the way for bilateral trade to recalibrate from the traditional resource-heavy pattern to an array of new areas such as agriculture, animal husbandry and the service industry.
This will be a blessing for both nations. While Chinese consumers will be able to enjoy cheaper Australian products and services, the FTA will greatly mitigate Australians' concerns over the negative impact of China's economic slowdown on its economy.
Since the pace of regional integration is accelerating in the Asia-Pacific, the China-Australia FTA will help contribute to this healthy trend as well.
Some in Australia really need to adopt a more impartial and objective view of Australia's FTA deal with China. There is no reason to let such a golden chance slip.