Customs Amendment (Growing Australian Export Opportunities)

House of Representatives on 21/10/2019

BILLS - Customs Amendment (Growing Australian Export Opportunities Across the Asia-Pacific) Bill 2019, Customs Tariff Amendment (Growing Australian Export Opportunities Across the Asia-Pacific) Bill 2019 - Second Reading

Watch Matt's speech here

Mr KEOGH (Burt) (13:28): Labor supports trade between Australia and the rest of the world, because it's only through trade that jobs are generated, our economic growth is boosted and living standards in our great nation are improved. This legislation before us today seeks to reduce barriers to trade through creating more competitive industries and further benefit customers through lower prices and greater choices. Overall, deeper regional integrations through the agreements implemented through this legislation will generate added trade and output gains in Australia's sectors of comparative advantage, in particular agriculture, mining and education. This will mean more jobs and training opportunities for Aussies in or wanting to get into these same industries.

We are an export nation. Businesses in Australia that export on average hire 23 per cent more staff and pay 11 per cent higher wages. Trade is good for jobs and growth in our nation at a time where economic growth is the slowest since the global financial crisis, wages are stagnant, almost two million Aussies are looking for more work and living standards are going backwards. These trade agreements are a positive step to getting our economy back on track, and, frankly, under this government, they are about the only thing that is heading that way now. Labor support trade and we will support these agreements. As we encounter an increasingly unstable international trading system and possible limits to the power of the World Trade Organization in resolving trade disputes, Australia must engage in bilateral agreements to support our interests. It's in our nation's best interests to diversify the access we have to markets around the world lest our current trading partners make decisions that may affect our ability to trade freely.

The DEPUTY SPEAKER ( Mr S Georganas ): The debate is interrupted in accordance with standing order 43. The debate may be resumed at a later hour and the member will have leave to continue speaking when the debate is resumed.