Chinese FTA to squeeze Maryvale: CFMEU

Strained job security at Australian Paper’s Maryvale Mill could be placed under further pressure by a landmark Free Trade Agreement deal struck between Australian and China this week, a key union has warned.

The landmark agreement has been welcomed enthusiastically by the agricultural sector, which claims the deal will unlock export potential to China’s booming dairy and livestock market.

However the Construction Forestry Mining and Energy Union warns the FTA will only hurt the pulp and paper sector, with the deal set to abolish a five per cent tariff currently placed on Chinese copy paper and paper product imports into Australia.

“Politicians and businesses in Canberra have lined up to applaud this trade deal, but out here in the real world it is going to cost jobs,” CFMEU national secretary Michael O’Connor said.

“The Maryvale mill is struggling thanks to unfair imports, especially from China. So this trade agreement is another blow to the thousands of workers and their families here who rely on the mill.”

The CFMEU claims cheap Chinese imports have already contributed to nearly half of all pulp and paper jobs lost in Australia over the last decade.