Greens trade spokesman Senator Peter Whish-Wilson
Greens trade spokesman Senator Peter Whish-Wilson LUKAS Cochaap

MPs told to get cracking on China free trade deal

A MAJOR business lobby has urged the Turnbull Government not to allow Labor's demands on the China free trade agreement to add to red tape.

The Opposition has demanded the government ensures the FTA does not allow Australian workers to miss out on jobs on major projects, and protects against worker exploitation.

The government has indicated Labor's demands are broadly acceptable and has offered negotiations.

A high-level parliamentary committee has urging the government to officially ratify the trade deal, a call backed by Business Council of Australia chief Jennifer Westacott.

She said ratifying the trade deal before the end of the year was critical for Australian exporters to get a "double round of tariff cuts".

Ms Westacott said it was essential for the lower House to pass the changes quickly to give the Senate time to consider the deal.

Greens trade spokesman Senator Peter Whish-Wilson said the committee's report showed the treaty-making system was "broken".

He said the government's own analysis of the deal showed it would create "only a few thousand jobs over the next 20 years, and cost billions".