U.S. Trade Representative Schwab Meets With Australian Trade Minister Truss, Applauds Progress Under FTA
SYDNEY – United States Trade Representative Susan C. Schwab today welcomed the continued increase in two-way trade with Australia since the Australia Free Trade Agreement (FTA) entered into force in 2005.
“I am very pleased with the results of our FTA, which has boosted flows of goods, services and investment in both directions,” Schwab said. “The 16-percent increase in two way trade in a few short years has benefited farmers, ranchers, manufacturers, service providers, and workers in both countries and demonstrates the value of expanded trade and investment.”
Schwab met today with Australian Minister for Trade Warren Truss to review progress under the FTA covering a wide range of issues, including agriculture, intellectual property, professional services and other topics. In addition, they exchanged ideas on promoting trade and integration in the Asia-Pacific region, including efforts within the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation to promote regional economic integration.
Schwab and Truss also discussed recent developments in the WTO Doha Round negotiations.
“I appreciate the active role Australia is playing in the Doha Round negotiations and we will continue to work together closely to promote a successful outcome,” Schwab said.
The Australia FTA is a state-of-the-art agreement that opens markets for goods and services, generates investment and government procurement, strengthens intellectual property protections, and promotes e-commerce. In 2006, our bilateral goods trade increased 12 percent to $26 billion. The major U.S. exports to Australia include: machinery, trucks and parts, aircraft, electrical machinery, and optical and medical instruments. In 2005 (the latest available data), our two-way trade in services totaled $12.1 billion, a 12 percent increase from 2004. U.S. foreign direct investment in Australia totaled more than $113 billion in 2005, a 134 percent jump from 2003, and is concentrated largely in the manufacturing, finance, mining, and banking sectors. Australian foreign direct investment in the United States was $44.1 billion in 2005, up nearly 79 percent from 2003, and is concentrated in the real estate and rental and leasing, manufacturing, and finance sectors.