World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 

Free Trade Agreement with the United States

Media release
8 February 2004 - MVT08/2004

Free Trade Agreement with the United States

Trade Minister Mark Vaile today concluded an agreed text for the Australia-United States Free Trade Agreement with his US counterpart, Trade Representative Bob Zoellick.

"This historic deal offers enormous opportunities to all Australian companies interested in profiting in the world's largest and most dynamic economy," Mr Vaile said after a final negotiating session in Washington DC lasting more than two weeks.

"The agreement represents the culmination of months of effort, and is a great example of government working with industry to deliver real results for Australians."

The Agreement includes:

- Immediate, free and open access to the US market for Australian exporters of almost all manufactured goods and services;
- Duty-free access from day one for over 97 per cent of Australia's manufacturing exports to the US, worth $5.84 billion last year;
- Substantially-improved access for Australia's agricultural sector, including for our beef and dairy producers, with more than 66 per cent of agricultural tariffs going to zero from day one of the Agreement;
- Full access for Australian goods and services to the $270 billion market for federal government procurement in the United States; and,
- Enhanced legal protections that guarantee market access and non-discriminatory treatment for Australian service providers in the US market
Importantly, critical elements of Australian public policy have not been compromised.

The systems we have in place to ensure that our health and our environment are protected, such as our quarantine regime, are not affected.

The Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS), in particular the price and listing arrangements that ensure Australians access to quality, affordable medicines, remains intact.

The right to examine significant foreign investment proposals in all sectors, to ensure they do not raise issues contrary to the national interest, is retained.

Our right to ensure local content in Australian broadcasting and audiovisual services, including in new media formats, is retained.

Australia's single-desk arrangements for marketing Australian commodities to the world, such as for sugar, rice, wheat and barley, are not affected.

"The FTA between Australia and the United States is overwhelmingly in the Australian national interest," Mr Vaile said. "This deal will further integrate the Australian economy with the largest and most dynamic economy in the world, delivering lasting benefits for generations of Australians."

Further information can be obtained by calling the AUSFTA hotline (1 300 558 413), by visiting the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade website [dfat.gov.au/trade/negotiations/us.html], or by emailing the Department on us_fta@dfat.gov.au

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Gordon Campbell: Zimbabwe - Meet The New Bosses

At 75, Mnangagwa is not exactly what you’d call a new broom. As many observers have pointed out, his track record has been one of unswerving dedication to Mugabe ever since the days of anti-colonial insurgency... To these guys, things had to change in Zimbabwe, so that things could remain the same. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: Is This Guy The World’s Most Dangerous Thirtysomething?

Saudi Arabia has long been regarded as a pillar of stability in the Middle East, and is the essential caterer to the West’s fossil fuel needs. It is also the country that gave us Osama Bin Laden, al Qaeda, and 15 of the 19 terrorists who carried out the 9/11 attacks... More>>

ALSO:

Non-Binding Postal Vote: Australia Says Yes To Same Sex Marriage

Binoy Kampmark: Out of 150 federal seats, 133 registered affirmative totals in returning their response to the question “Should the law be changed to allow same-sex couples to marry?”. More>>

ALSO:

Bonn Climate Change Conference: Protecting Health In Small Island States

The vision is that, by 2030, all Small Island Developing States will have health systems that are resilient to climate change and countries around the world will be reducing their carbon emissions both to protect the most vulnerable from climate risks and deliver large health benefits in carbon-emitting countries. More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 
 
  • Pacific.Scoop
  • Cafe Pacific
  • PMC