Australia-United States Free Trade Agreement

United States of America market snapshot

  • GDP: US$16.98 trillion (2013)
  • GDP per capita: US$53,097 (2013)
  • GDP growth: 1.8 per cent (2013)
  • Population: 316.4 million (2013)
  • Trade with Australia: AU$53.9 billion (2012–13)
  • Australia's investment in the United States 2012 (AU$m):
    • Total: 433,980
    • FDI: 103,383
  • United States' investment in Australia 2012 (AU$m):
    • Total: 617,567
    • FDI: 131,255

Map of the United States of America - quick facts

Map of the United States of America

New York

A global centre for financial and banking services.

Los Angeles

The busiest container port in the USA, gateway for Australian exports and one of the busiest in the world.

San Francisco

A major IT and services hub, and includes Silicon Valley.

Honolulu

Twenty percent of Hawaii's total exports are destined for Australia.

Chicago

Leading business, manufacturing and corporate headquarters centre.

Washington

The US Capital and administrative centre.

Atlanta

A significant business centre.

About AUSFTA

The Australia-United States Free Trade Agreement (AUSFTA) is a long-term commitment and framework to strengthen trade relations and economic integration with the United States across all sectors of the economic relationship.

This Agreement significantly improves Australia's attractiveness as a destination for US investment, important for our efforts to maintain Australia at the leading edge of growth and competitiveness.

At the same time, the Agreement secures important Australian interests in areas such as health, in particular the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme, foreign investment screening, the audio-visual sector and our quarantine and food safety regimes.

Key interests and benefits

  • Two thirds of all agricultural tariffs — including in important commodities such as lamb, sheep meat and horticultural products — were eliminated immediately, with a further 9 per cent of tariffs cut to zero in 2008, and almost all agricultural tariffs removed on full implementation in 2022 (all but sugar and out-of-quota dairy).
  • Duties on more than 97 per cent of US non-agricultural tariff lines became duty free from day one of the Agreement, with all trade in goods free of duty by 2015.
  • Access to US markets has been locked in for Australian service suppliers such as providers of professional, business, education, environmental, financial and transport services and a framework to promote mutual recognition of professional services has been developed.
  • The US federal government procurement market, worth at least US$535 billion annually (2011), and that of 31 state governments are now open to Australia.
  • The Agreement provides a strong framework to promote high levels of two-way investment between Australia and the US.

Overview of the Australia-US Free Trade Agreement

News

The Department's latest statistical analysis and information on Australia's trade with the Americas.

Government Procurement

New Government Procurement thresholds became effective from 1 January 2012:

Section 1: Central Government Entities

  • (a) for procurement of goods and services: Adjusted Thresholds as of 1 January 2012: A$80,000 or US$77,494.
  • (b) for procurement of construction services: Adjusted Thresholds as of 1 January 2012: A$9,514,0001 or US$7,777,000.

Section 2 : Regional Government Entities

  • (a) for procurement of goods and services: Adjusted Thresholds as of 1 January 2012: A$573,000 or US$552,000.
  • (b) for procurement of construction services: Adjusted Thresholds as of 1 January 2012: A$9,514,0001 or US$7,777,000.

Section 3: Government Enterprises

  • (a) for procurement of goods and services:
  • (i) of List A entities, Adjusted Thresholds as of 1 January 2012: A$402,000 or US$387,471.
  • (ii) of List B entities, Adjusted Threshold as of 1 January 2012: US$622,000 (Australia has not listed any List B entities)
  • (b) for procurement of construction services for List A and List B entities: Adjusted Thresholds as of 1 January 2012: A$9,514,0001 or US$7,777,000

1. Note: the Australian dollar value of procurement of construction services will remain at the 2010 threshold level until advised otherwise.

Amendment to the Australia- United States FTA entered into force on 1 June 2012

Australia and the United States have amended the Product Specific Rules (PSR) contained in Annex 4-A (Textile or Apparel Specific Rules of Origin classifications 5501-5511) concerning yarns made of mixed synthetic staple fibres. The amendment entered into force on 1 June 2012.

The amendment will deliver benefits to Australian manufacturers by allowing them to access preferential tariff treatment when exporting certain yarns to the United States, regardless of the origin of the viscose rayon staple fibres used to produce that yarn.

Exchange of notes giving effect to the Amendment:

The Hon Craig Emerson, Minister for Trade and Competitiveness to the Hon Ron Kirk, United States Trade Representative

The Hon Ron Kirk, United States Trade Representative to the Hon Craig Emerson, Minister for Trade and Competitiveness

The Australian Customs and Border Protection Service website contains the Australian Customs Notice 2012/27 announcing the changes to tariff treatment under Annex 4-A.

Official documents

Here you can locate the full text of the Australia-United States Free Trade Agreement.

Full text of the Agreement

Australia-United States Free Trade Agreement

Guide to the Agreement

Australia-United States Free Trade Agreement - Guide to the Agreement

For business

For business queries regarding applicable tariff arrangements, please review:

AUSFTA sets out the rules for determining which goods are ‘originating’ and therefore eligible for preferential tariff treatment. Under AUSFTA, it is the importer who makes the claim for preferential treatment. Importers should be prepared to submit (on request) a statement setting out the reasons that the good qualifies as an originating good. For further information including relevant documentation see the Australian Customs Service website or the United States Customs and Border Protection website.

The Australian and United States schedules specify the applicable rate of duty and the staging category for each tariff line. The staging category establishes the rate at which the relevant tariffs will be eliminated under the Agreement. The US and Australian schedules (guide only) can be found under Chapter 2 National Treatment and Market Access for Goods.

For business queries regarding the commencement of commercial activities and trade with the United States, including business advice and support, please contact The Australian Trade Commission (Austrade).

The American Chamber of Commerce in Australia (AmCham) offers a range of services and information on trade and business with the United States.

Contact us

For business queries regarding applicable tariff arrangements and the import and export process, including applicable forms, please contact:

For business queries regarding the commencement of commercial activities and trade with the United States, including business advice and support, please contact the Australian Trade Commission (Austrade).

For all other questions relating to policy or strategic implementation under the AUSFTA, please contact the United States Trade Section of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade:

  • Mail:
    US Trade Section
    Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade
    R.G. Casey Building
    John McEwen Crescent
    Barton ACT 0221
  • Phone: +61 2 6261 1111
  • Email: us_fta@dfat.gov.au

For media enquiries please call DFAT Media Liaison Section on +61 2 6261 1555.