Media release from the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade
The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade's Office of Trade Negotiations
invites public submissions and comment on issues relevant to the negotiations
for a Free Trade agreement (FTA) between Australia and the United States.
Prime Minister John Howard, Trade Minister Mark Vaile, and US Trade Representative
Robert Zoellick announced on 14 November that Australia and the United States
would start negotiations to conclude an FTA. Mr Vaile also announced the
Department would invite public submissions.
While the precise scope of the agreement will be determined during the negotiation
process, in broad terms its aim will be to liberalise trade in goods and services,
facilitate trade and investment and address government-level impediments to
increased commercial exchanges.
The Office of Trade Negotiations will lead and coordinate the Government's
approach to the negotiations with the United States. The Government will
give high priority to the views and expertise of different groups on issues
to be covered by the negotiations. It will consult widely, including with
business, interested organisations and the general public, as it develops
Australia's negotiating position.
The deadline for receiving submissions is 15 January 2003. A background
paper on the Australia-United States FTA proposal, including information on
issues that might be covered in an agreement, and studies on the benefits
and implications of an Australia-US FTA, is available via DFAT's website at: www.dfat.gov.au/trade/negotiations/us.html.
Submissions may be lodged electronically at firstname.lastname@example.org or by post at the following address:
US FTA Task Force
Office of Trade Negotiations
Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade
BARTON ACT 0221
Ph: (02) 6261 2019/ 1811
Fax: (02) 6261 3514
Media enquiries: Nicole Guihot, DFAT Media Liaison Section, 02 6261 1555