Australia-United States Free Trade Agreement: Fact sheets
- Access to US markets has been guaranteed for Australian service suppliers such as providers of professional, business, education, environmental, financial and transport services
- A framework to promote mutual recognition of professional services has been developed – leading to new practise rights for Australian lawyers in Delaware and engineers in Texas.
The services chapter of the agreement offers strong legal protections to underpin services trade and Australian investment in the United States - principally through a US commitment to not discriminate, and strong provisions on the transparency and development of regulations relevant to services trade.
If, for example, a law is passed in the United States to treat American education or legal service providers more favourably than foreign service providers, Australian companies would have the right to the same treatment as US companies.
AUSFTA therefore ensures that Australian companies can compete on equal terms with US companies in most services sectors in the biggest services economy in the world. The Agreement contains commitments ensuring a liberal services trade environment that go beyond the commitments Australia enjoys in the WTO in a wide range of sectors, including educational, financial and professional services. It also ensures the transparency of regulations in this area, and will automatically make future unilateral liberalisation of many measures a binding part of the Agreement.
Importantly, the services chapter established the Working Group on Professional Services to support profession-led initiatives to achieve the mutual recognition of professional qualifications and registration.