Trade agreement with China promises a transport industry boost

By: Paul Howell

Increased import trade will mean more work for truck drivers.

Trade agreement with China promises a transport industry boost
Australian Trucking Association (ATA) CEO Stuart St Clair.


Australia’s recently negotiated free trade agreement (FTA) with China will "naturally" have a positive effect on Australia’s transport industry, Australian Trucking Association (ATA) CEO Stuart St Clair says.

Announced in November, the agreement allows for tariff-free market access across a range of sectors, including primary produce and manufactured goods.  Australian services, including specialist education and finance products, will be able to be marketed directly in China.

Officials in both China and Australia are currently going over the fine print, with the final FTA expected to be signed early in 2015.

St Clair says transport operators can expect an immediate increase in the quantity and value of goods traded between the two countries.

With 75 per cent of all goods going in or out of Australia using a truck somewhere in the supply chain, he says local operators will be well placed to take advantage.

But he warns many of the wider economic benefits of the FTA remain reliant on the transport industry working in tandem with the community.

"We will continue to work with the Federal Government to ensure the industry remains safe, viable, and efficient," he says.

This work will include lobbying against any further increases in taxation and charges on road transport operators.

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