“I would like to thank the
many Senators of both parties who supported the swift passage of the U.S. –
Australia Free Trade Agreement, a 21st century, state-of-the-art agreement that
strengthens America’s position within the modern globalized
“This agreement is truly a
‘Manufacturing FTA’ because over 99% of the manufactured goods traded between
Australia will be duty-free on day
leadership helped secure the bipartisan Trade Promotion Authority, which we have
put to good use in opening markets, and expanding opportunities for American
workers, businesses, farmers and consumers.
“The Senate passage puts us
one step closer to dramatically increasing trade between our nations - projected
to rise by billions of dollars - and therefore, creating more economic
opportunity in both the United States and Australia.
“The vote of 80 to 16
demonstrates overwhelming support for an important economic partner and a good
“This successful FTA,
like others we have completed or are negotiating, is only possible because
Congress passed Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) in 2002. I would
especially like to thank Senators Charles Grassley and Max Baucus for their
leadership on TPA and this agreement with
Australia. This free trade
agreement is an excellent example of the fulfillment of the goals of the
bipartisan TPA consensus on trade.
“We hope Congressional
approval of the Australia FTA will provide an excellent atmosphere in which to
also approve the pending U.S.-Morocco FTA. We will work closely with
Congress to secure passage of the agreement with
On Wednesday evening, the
House overwhelmingly approved the Australia FTA 314 to 109.
Australia must also approve the
agreement. Today’s Senate action is one more important step on the way to
President Bush signing the FTA’s implementing legislation.
This Administration has
completed free trade agreements with 12 countries:
The United States is
currently negotiating free trade agreements with ten more: Panama, Colombia,
Ecuador, Peru, Thailand and with the five nations of the Southern African
Customs Union (SACU) – Botswana, South Africa, Lesotho, Swaziland and Namibia.
In addition to negotiating
FTAs, the United
States will continue to
aggressively press for global free markets through the World Trade Organization;
and for hemispheric openness, through the creation of a Free Trade Area of the