Washington DC – NFTC officials today urged USTR officials to wrap up talks this week for the U.S.-Australia Free Trade Agreement – an agreement that could boost American exports by billions of dollars and strengthen the $19 billion in two-way trade between the United States and Australia.
“We must push forward now to complete the U.S.-Australia FTA and not lose sight of its enormous benefits to the U.S. economy,” said
“The time is now to produce a commercially meaningful FTA that benefits the whole – not the few,” added Reinsch. A comprehensive FTA with one of our staunchest allies is within reach, but Reinsch acknowledged that negotiators have faced several tough issues in recent weeks, including strong resistance from U.S. agriculture. Overcoming this resistance is essential to achieving overall U.S. priorities for the negotiations, such as the elimination of tariff and non-tariff barriers to industrial goods, improved protection of intellectual property rights, and the elimination of restrictions that make it difficult for U.S. service providers to operate in the Australian market – none of which can be achieved without the cooperation of every sector.
“U.S. agriculture groups must come to the table on this agreement and allow it to proceed in a manner that is in our best national economic interest,” continued Reinsch. “We are on the verge of concluding a landmark free trade agreement with Australia. Yet this historic achievement could collapse before it gets off the ground if negotiators fail to see the larger picture. With the long history of cooperation between the United States and Australia – both bilaterally and within the WTO – at stake, both the U.S. and Australia must step up and show leadership in resolving the remaining difficult issues. Too much is at stake in terms of economic benefits, but most importantly in terms of worldwide reputation, for
The National Foreign Trade Council is a leading business organization advocating an open, rules-based global trading system. Founded in 1914 by a broad-based group of American companies, the NFTC now serves several hundred member companies through its offices in Washington and New York.