Australia`s First Free Trade Agreement

The agreement has become the catalyst for the Australian government to engage in similar talks with other key trading partners – Japan, China, India, South Korea, Malaysia and ASEAN have begun negotiations with Australia over the next four years. In the United States, the free trade agreement improved the overall trade deficit and generated a trade surplus with Australia, which increased by 31.7% in the first quarter of 2005 compared to the same period in 2004. U.S. exports to Australia increased by 11.7% in the first quarter of 2005 to nearly $3.7 billion. Agricultural exports to Australia increased by 20%. [Citation required] Latham reacted unexpectedly by subordinating laboratory support to the free trade agreement to an amendment that would protect PBS. [9] This effectively turned the situation around to Howard: if the government rejected the amendment as unnecessary, it opened up to assertions that it does not protect Australian interests; while he supported the amendment, he tacitly acknowledged that the initial terms of the agreement were insufficient. The bill was eventually amended and passed. This article was first published on June 29, 2018 on the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade blog and has been re-educated with permission. The White Paper on Foreign Policy launched by Prime Minister Turnbull on November 23, 2017, confirmed that Australia would continue to be an active bilateral, regional and multilateral advocate for an open global economy opposed to protectionism.

The White Paper also endorsed Australia`s ambitious approach to negotiating and implementing regional and bilateral free trade agreements to ensure Australia`s future prosperity and set a target of having more than 80% of Australia`s total trade with free trade countries in the free trade agreement by 2020 (currently, Australia`s ten free trade agreements cover about two-thirds of our total trade). Nine of Australia`s 10 free trade agreements came into force in 2003 and the benefits australia derives from free trade agreements will continue to increase as more of these agreements are negotiated and implemented in the future. In conjunction with the current WTO agreement on health and plant health measures (SPS), two committees are created in this section to ensure compliance with the provisions of the SPS agreement. It was not until early 2001, after the election of George W. Bush in the United States and with John Howard in power in Australia, that he became an Australia-USA. The ATF has finally taken shape. In April 2001, President Bush expressed interest in a free trade agreement with Australia, provided that “everything is on the table.” In 2004, the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade commissioned a private consulting firm – the Centre for International Economics (CIE) – to model the economic impact of such an agreement.

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