U.S-Australia Free Trade Agreement Moves Forward

Among other provisions of the Act is elimination of more than 99% of tariff lines of consumer and industrial goods. As the U.S. Trade Representative’s Office explains, manufactured goods currently account for 93% of all U.S. exports to Australia. It is predicted that eliminating tariffs will save U.S. exporters to Australia almost $300 million in the first year. In agricultural areas of the agreement, duties on all U.S. exports to Australia, which totaled $700 million in 2003, will immediately be eliminated. Keeping in step with its continued support of the U.S. sugar industry, duties will remain on sugar and certain dairy products.

An interesting aspect of the agreement includes non-discriminatory market access for express delivery firms, including facilitation of customs clearance. The U.S. Government has completed 12 Free Trade Agreements and is negotiating 10 more. The Office of the Trade Representative is now working toward passage of the U.S.-Morocco Free Trade Agreement. Learn more at the web site, www.ustr.gov

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