Sydney, Australia – Australia’s cotton industry has joined the chorus of agriculture groups calling for the Australian Parliament to approve the China-Australia Free Trade Agreement (ChAFTA).
Cotton Australia CEO Adam Kay says more than 99% of Australia’s cotton crop is exported, the majority of it to China, making the ChAFTA agreement vitally important for cotton growers, their employees and the rural communities they support.
“Around 65% of the annual Australian cotton crop is exported to China, and in the past two seasons that has represented more than $1 billion for our industry,” Mr Kay says.
“The ChAFTA agreement would deliver important tariff cuts that would greatly benefit cotton growers and the communities they support.”
“The timing of this agreement is critical – unfavourable weather conditions have subdued cotton production for the past two years. Growers in many areas have been hard hit by the dry conditions, so the passing of the ChAFTA agreement would be a shot in the arm for them and the industry as a whole.”
Australian farmers across all sectors rely on trade and international markets to generate $42.4 billion for the Australian economy each year, with $9 billion in earnings from China alone.
Worth $100 billion dollars annually, Australian exports to China are more than the combined value of Australia’s exports to the United States, Germany, the United Kingdom, South Korea, France, Canada and all of South East Asia.
“Cotton Australia backs the China-Australia Free Trade Agreement, and we call on the Federal Opposition, the union movement and others who oppose it to put Australia first and support this vitally important initiative,” Mr Kay says.
Cotton Australia is the peak representative body for Australia’s cotton growing industry.
Source: Cotton Australia