Australia's trade minister predicted a successful outcome to free trade negotiations with China, saying he expected billions of dollars in economic benefits. Mark Vaille told The Australian newspaper he believed the planned FTA could be more important than Australia's bilateral pact with the US due to come into force on January 1. However, he said the government had not yet made a decision on one of Beijing's main goals, the granting of market economy status. China is the top market for a range of Australia's biggest exports, including iron, steel and wool. However, Australian unions and industry leaders have expressed caution about easing trade with a country they argue is notorious for dumping cheap products on world markets.
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