The agreement – known as Chafta – eliminated tariffs on Australian barley and sorghum when it entered into force in December 2015, while reducing tariffs on Australian seafood, sheepmeat and horticulture. Dairy products and beef would have abolished tariffs in the 2020s. Taiwan and Hong Kong [thematic link page: Australia and Australians in Greater China] have recently expressed interest in signing free trade agreements with Australia. The Australian government has not acceded to invitations from both regions to open negotiations. It is claimed that the ministry`s resources will be fully utilized in other trade deals, but commentators suspect that political sensitivities mean that Canberra will not begin such negotiations until CHAFTA is completely completed. Australia has accused China of undermining its free trade agreement over a series of measures taken by Beijing against Australian exports. The China-Australia Free Trade Agreement (ChAFTA) entered into force on December 20, 2015. Australia`s Minister for Trade and Investment, Andrew Robb, a signatory to the ChAFTA, said: «This historic agreement with our largest trading partner will support future economic growth, job creation and a higher standard of living through increased trade in goods and services and investment. China, with its population of 1.4 billion and rapidly growing middle class, offers huge opportunities for Australian businesses in the future. Once fully implemented, 95% of Australian exports to China will be duty-free.
This includes many agricultural products, including beef and dairy products. In addition, market access for the Australian services sector will be liberalized and investment by Chinese private companies of less than A$1,078 million will not be subject to FIRB approval. In addition, there will be an investor-state dispute settlement mechanism under the treaty.  The full text of the agreement, as well as useful information and fact sheets on free trade agreements, are available on the department of foreign affairs and trade website. For specific questions about the agreement, email ChinaFTA@dfat.gov.au or call DFAT on 02 6261 1111. Importers can contact the Ministry of the Interior. Dr Jeffrey Wilson, research director at the Perth USAsia Centre, said the free trade agreement signed by the Abbott government in 2015 was «not worth the paper it is written on today» given the steps Beijing is taking. However, King argued that the coalition had an «attitude of firmness and forgetfulness towards free trade agreements» where agreements were not accompanied by adequate monitoring and relationship building. «The targeted nature of the Chinese government`s actions on Australian products raises concerns about compliance with the letter and spirit of its ChAFTA [Free Trade Agreement] and its WTO commitments,» he told the Australian Senate.
CUTA Secretary Sally McManus questioned whether Chafta had lived up to its initial hype and called for the renegotiation of elements of the deal. Australia was the first country to launch a bilateral free trade process with China, with talks starting in May 2005 following a joint feasibility study and Australia`s decision to grant China «market economy status» under World Trade Organization rules. At the time, it was estimated that a pure free trade and goods agreement would contribute $18 billion to bilateral GDP over a ten-year period. But the talks ended in a stalemate from mid-2007, and a formal agreement on chaFTA did not take place until after twenty-one rounds of negotiations. Finally, on November 17, 2014, Australia and China signed a Memorandum of Understanding to conclude the China-Australia Free Trade Agreement (CHAFTA), following a number of other countries and regions. Australia and China signed the China-Australia Free Trade Agreement (ChAFTA) on June 17, 2015, which will enter into force on December 20, 2015. Trade negotiations have yielded many future benefits for Australia`s business with Australia`s largest trading partner – China. Those who work in agriculture, manufacturing, services, investment, resources and energy benefit in particular.
China has also agreed to a special clause recognizing Australia as a «most-favoured nation» (MFN). This gives Australian companies access to the same agreements that China enters into in free trade agreements with other countries (such as the UNITED States), which can provide better access to the Chinese market. There will be a work and holiday agreement in which Australia will issue up to 5,000 visas to Chinese nationals for work and leisure travellers.  The free trade agreement was signed between the two countries in Canberra, Australia, on June 17, 2015.  The agreement will follow the usual treaty process, after which it will enter into force when China completes its domestic legal and legislative procedures, and in Australia review by the Australian Parliament`s Standing Joint Committee on Treaties and the Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade References.  The two countries signed a free trade agreement in 2015 that lowered tariffs and improved access to dozens of goods. Australia cannot move away from its free trade agreement with China as it seeks to repair «broken» relations, the shadow trade minister said, while accusing the coalition government of not establishing deep ties on the ground. The China-Australia Free Trade Agreement (ChAFTA) is a bilateral free trade agreement (FTA) between the governments of Australia and China. Since the beginning of the negotiations, 21 rounds of negotiations have been concluded.  The agreement was finalised on 17 November 2014 and details published two days later, almost 10 years after the first round of negotiations, which began on 23 May 2005 following a joint feasibility study.
The free trade agreement was signed between the two countries on June 17, 2015.  Following the usual conclusion of the agreement, the agreement entered into force on 20 December 2015, following the completion of the Chinese government`s domestic legal and legislative procedures and the Australian Parliament`s Standing Joint Committee on Treaties and the Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade References had completed a review.   The Abbott government hailed CHAFTA as a «historic» development that has taken Australia-China relations to a «different level, and the media hailed it as «the deal of a lifetime for the Australian economy.»