Free trade agreements (FTA) such as the one with China have always been sold as a massive win for the economy, but there’s always the fine print they’re hoping no-one notices.
On the one hand, our agricultural exports will be able to compete freely for an additional 1.3 billion customers. On the other hand, imported goods are about to get a whole lot cheaper, which may not necessarily be a win for consumers.
We’ve yet to come up with a set of guidelines for country-of-origin labelling, and until that happens you’ll see the big supermarkets bring in a lot of cheap frozen produce of questionable safety. Frozen berries, anyone?
Our manufacturing sector too, will struggle to compete with products built by hands paid $1.50 an hour, but that’s okay, because theagreement appears to allow Australian firms to bring in an unlimited number of temporary workers from China.
Businesses have already been agitating for a reduction in penalty rates, what impact will a supply of cheap labour have on our jobs market?
There will be far-reaching consequences that no-one seems to want to think about.What ever happened to responsible government that looked out for the people and not just for businesses? Is our way of life being sold off?Something to think about while you wait to replace that cheap imported hair dryer for the third time.
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