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A Free Trade Agreement FTA between Australia and the United States of America USA appears to present a unique opportunity to advance the interests of Australian business However to what extent would free trade benefit Australia An FTA superficially seems to offer significant benefits to Australia in terms of employment and the expansion of Australian business internationally However major market access barriers face Australian exporters particularly in the agricultural sector A free trade agreement would aim to correct any obstacles Areas of Australian business would be pursued freely in the US market - services manufacturing investment electronic commerce telecommunications intellectual property rights and the movement of people It is through these sectors that a bilateral free trade agreement presents positive and negative implications to Australian business Australian businesses have had difficulties competing in the international marketplace This can be linked to lack of diversification domestic ineptness expensive labour deficient output and inferior management The Business Council of Australia recognises that there are barriers to the competitiveness of large Australian firms due to the centralised inflexible system of Industrial relations Frenkel Peetz 1990 A study undertaken by the APEC Study Centre showed that an FTA could play an important role in attracting US investment into Australian businesses An FTA would flow easily from layered security ties and would add A stronger economic dimension to the security and other links we share Howard 2002 providing significant benefits in earnings The emphasis on exporting unprocessed goods has lowered technology bases discouraging technological innovation Hamilton 1989 p27 However increased access to US markets through an FTA could boost trade - enhancing Australian business opportunities An FTA would encourage additional foreign investment between the United States and Australia adding employment to the investment flows between the two countries Bilateral trade treaties can increase international industry integration triggering a synergy of increased economic security for involved nations Moskowitz 1993 p74 Therefore an FTA would result in business integration chiefly
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