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1INTRODUCTION 11Background On 8 February after almost 12 months of negotiations Australias Trade Minister and the United States Trade Representative announced that agreement has been reached on the main body of the text for the Australia-United States Free Trade Agreement AUSFTA Although yet to pass through the Australian and US domestic legislative processes that bring the agreed text into effect the agreement allows for removal of almost all tariffs on manufactured goods substantial reductions in tariffs on agricultural goods removal of discrimination in government procurement enhanced intellectual property protection and improved access for services It will allow for substantial integration of the US and Australian economies and according to the US Trade Representative is the most significant cut in industrial tariffs ever achieved in a US free trade agreement However many of the associated annexes to the text are yet to be agreed The Agreement is not likely to come into force before 1 January 2005 Australias first Free Trade Agreement FTA was concluded with New Zealand ANZCER - more than 20 years ago with this Closer Economic Relationship delivering economic benefits to both countries Then two FTAs have been concluded with Asian trading partners in 2003 namely Singapore July and Thailand October So how is the current trading relationship between Australia and US According to Rawson 2003 Director of Safety Health and Trade Policy in Minerals Council of Australia key aspects are showed as the following 61692the US is Australias largest trading partner with a two way trade of A44 billion accounting for 15 of total trade 61692the US is Australias key export market - the second largest behind Japan o the US is the single most important market for services and elaborately transformed manufactures ETMs o the US market has the highest growth rate a 5 year trend of 16 61692the US is the largest investor in Australia with A58 billion in foreign direct investment o Australian affiliates of US firms have
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