Australia’s Parliament passed bilateral free trade agreements with India and Britain yesterday, leaving those partner nations to bring the deals into force.
The deals are crucial for Australia to diversify its exports from the troubled Chinese market to India and to Britain’s need to forge new bilateral trade relations since it left the European Union.
The bills easily passed the House of Representatives on Monday and the Senate made them law yesterday.
The deals need to be ratified by the respective British and Indian parliaments before they take effect. Neither nation has yet done that.
Trade Minister Don Farrell said India had demonstrated its commitment to the bilateral economic partnership through the quality of the deal struck.
“Closer economic ties with India are a critical component of the government’s trade diversification strategy,” Farrell said.
Farrell said the British deal was “crucial to boosting our growth.”
Under the Australia-Britain deal, more than 99% of Australian goods exports will be duty free, including sheep meat, beef, dairy, sugar and wine.
Taxes on 90% of Australian goods exported to India including meat, wool, cotton, seafood, nuts and avocados will also be removed.