21 October 2019

The Morrison Government welcomes confirmation from the Australian Labor Party that they will support the necessary legislation to ratify our free trade agreements with Indonesia, Hong Kong and Peru.

Trade Minister Simon Birmingham welcomed this support and said ratification of these agreements would enhance export opportunities and deliver significant benefits for Australian farmers and businesses.

“These free trade agreements will open new doors and deliver wide-ranging benefits for Australian exporters from industries including agriculture, manufacturing, mining, education, tourism and financial services,” Minister Birmingham said.

“Expanding opportunities for Australian exporters is a key pillar of our economic plan and builds upon successes that have already fuelled Australia to record levels of exports and a record trade surplus.

“It is our intention for the necessary legislation for these trade deals to pass the House today and the Senate by the end of the year, so Australia exporters can start to reap the benefits from the greater export opportunities that will be unlocked.

“Hong Kong and Peru have already completed ratification processes and we remain hopeful that Indonesia will complete their processes in a similar timeframe to Australia.

“Our Government has provided reassurance to Labor in a number of areas where clear misconceptions were held. These include making clear that there are no privatisations required under these agreements.

“We have also confirmed our continued pursuit of actions such as updating safeguards in old investment treaties and strengthening workplace protections for working holiday makers.

“Although they should not have been necessary to secure Labor’s support, these commitments are extremely modest compared to the many job creating benefits of these agreements. Once again, our Government is demonstrating that we can deliver for Australians in the national interest.

“No renegotiation of or changes to any of these treaties is necessary as a result of the commitments made.

“I acknowledge and thank the Leader of the Opposition, Shadow Trade Minister and Shadow Foreign Minister for their constructive dialogue and engagement.”