Abbott told Australia’s national broadcaster that he can “absolutely” guarantee that Australian jobs will not be lost from the agreement.
The union campaign in opposition to the ChAFTA has been described by senior government ministers as xenophobic and economically irresponsible.
“This is economic vandalism of the worst kind”.
He added: “But we’ll work through these issues”.
Mr Tehan said if the ChAFTA wasn’t ratified by the year’s end the loss of immediate cuts to tariffs and a second round, on January 1, would result in a $300 million hit to the national economy “and most of that will be in regional and rural Australia”.
Education Minister Christopher Pyne said the deal, which is opposed by unions, will secure the nation’s future for decades.
Minerals Council of Australia chief executive Brendan Pearson said it’s “unthinkable” that the parliament might delay the elimination of the six percent tariff on China-Australia trade, the report said.
“We think the government should do what John Howard did which is to sit down with the Opposition and deal with our concerns as to the lack of safeguards in ChAFTA”, she said.
“We want to fix that”. “It’s about Australian jobs”.
The Abbott government claims the FTA is a landmark deal.
He said critics of the agreement “have got a point” about maintaining and protecting labour standards.
He said opposing the FTA was against “Australia’s best interests”.
“A decision to block the trade deal is unthinkable”, he said.
Last week the NFF launched a new website calling for public support and donations to assist their campaign backing free trade agreements.
“We should never wedge our farmers but unfortunately our farmers are being wedged in this ridiculous political argument that’s going on at the moment”.
Earlier in August Senators John Madigan, Nick Xenophon, Ricky Muir, and Glenn Lazarus and the Greens voted for a motion calling on the government to either change or abandon the China-Australia Free Trade Agreement, but Jacqui Lambie did not vote.
On Sunday Bill Shorten said Labor maintained its concerns over skills assessments and labour market testing.
“For me it’s not about what Liberals say or indeed what individuals in the union movement say”, he said.
The campaign involves advertising across all major media platforms and other efforts to explain ChAFTA to the Australian community.
“We’ve not heard boo from Joel Fitzgibbon on this – what have you got to say about this Joel?” he said.
“The truth is these agreements that open up trade with other countries are to the benefit of Australians and Australian jobs”.
“These assertions are plain wrong”.
Once the umbrella deal is approved, companies can apply to the immigration department “to sponsor and nominate temporary skilled workers to be engaged on the project”.
Senior Labor figures have signalled they don’t want to kill off the deal – that would be a very big call to make and would upset Australia’s biggest trading partner – but are coming under significant pressure from unions and wary caucus members.
CFMEU Queensland secretary Michael Ravbar told the rally the China deal was not in the interests of working Australians as it allowed companies to undercut wages and conditions for Australian workers by exploiting overseas labour.