The World Trade Organization (WTO) remains the basis of Australia`s trade policy. Australia continues to work with other WTO members on the Doha post-round negotiating agenda. Australia also relies heavily on WTO rules and other key WTO tasks, such as the dispute settlement system, to maintain a predictable and stable global trading environment. The annual high-level dialogue on high-level trade policy meets regularly to discuss bilateral trade relations. The question sometimes arises as to whether Australian companies, particularly small and medium-sized enterprises, use free trade agreements. A pwC report on the use of free trade agreements concluded that Australian companies receive exits from our free trade agreements, particularly in our agreements with China, Japan and Korea. The report found that 95% of Australian exports to Japan, which were eligible for a lower tariff under the Japan-Australia Economic Partnership Agreement, used the lower tariff rate. Free trade agreements have also had a positive impact on international business confidence, strategy, expansion planning and investment. The EU and Australia have concluded negotiations for a political framework agreement with a number of economic and trade cooperation agreements.

Australia currently has 10 free trade agreements with 16 countries and other free trade agreements will come into force in the future. Is Australia pursuing free trade agreements to the exclusion of other trade liberalization opportunities? Are these free trade agreements used by Australian companies? Why is Australia so strong in free trade agreements? Free trade agreements also offer other benefits to Australia. They can be negotiated and implemented more quickly than multilateral agreements and can play an important role in creating and enforcing liberalisation rules for non-WTO trade and investment issues. Free trade agreements allow Australian exporters and investors to enjoy the same preferential access, or better preferential access, enjoyed by exporters and investors of our competitors. Learn about tariff results and rules of origin for Australia`s free trade agreements through the FTA online portal. Join the many Australian companies already benefiting from the Australian Free Trade Agreement. Free trade agreements are international agreements that remove or reduce certain barriers to trade and investment between two or more countries. Australia currently has 11 free trade agreements with 18 countries and is seeking to negotiate and implement additional agreements. To date, the EU and Australia have maintained their trade and economic relations under the EU-Australia 2008 partnership.

The aim is to facilitate trade in industrial products between the EU and Australia by removing technical barriers and improving trade in services and investment. We took the FTA seminars online. Check out our 12-session FTA Digital Seminars series and sign up for future events. While Australia is not always as important as free trade agreements, it vigorously pursues its national interests in bilateral, regional and multilateral trade and investment activities, including the OECD, the G20 and APEC. The fundamental importance of the WTO to Australia is underlined by the fact that free trade rules in this area explicitly refer to and depend on WTO rules. Australia is a strong supporter of wto compliance with free trade agreements, including the requirement that these agreements “essentially liberalize all trade” between the parties. Free trade agreements provide a mechanism to facilitate trade in goods. Each agreement contains information and links to legislation, guidelines and opinions on rules of origin and access to preferential rates.