Making the most out of the Australia-United States Free Trade Agreement (AUSFTA)

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The Australia-United States Free Trade Agreement (AUSFTA) holds ample opportunities for Australian businesses to expand into the US market. This begins with knowing what the AUSFTA is all about and how to utilise its benefits. In this article, we break down the components of the AUSFTA and its possibilities for businesses.

The Australia-United States Free Trade Agreement (AUSFTA) is significant for both Australia and for the US. It allows for greater flows of goods, services and capital in both directions. The agreement significantly reduces tariff and non-tariff barriers and opens up the Australian market to US investors while the US allows similar access to Australian investors.

This has not only opened up opportunities for trade between the two countries, but also provides mutual economic benefits such as investment opportunities, enhanced business relationships, and jobs creation. For this reason, AUSFTA has been met with optimism as it promises economic growth for both nations by reducing bureaucracy, providing suppliers with secure access to markets and promoting trade competition.

Business use case for free trade agreements

The AUSFTA is the first free trade agreement entering into force with Australia and is essential for businesses to expand global trade from increased access to the US market. The agreement facilitates the expanding of exports such as beef, dairy and wine from Australia to the US, while allowing US health products, computer accessories and telecommunication equipment to benefit from lower duties in Australia.

This will not only create greater investment opportunities but also encourage further cooperation in research and technological innovation. AUSFTA will lead to deeper economic ties between both countries as Australia's exports increase and our nation is exposed to more international growth opportunities.

Free trade agreements have long been a useful tool for businesses, as these can enable them to access new markets and seize exclusive opportunities. However, there are still large knowledge gaps regarding free trade agreements like the AUSFTA, NAFTA and AANZFTA, preventing businesses from making full use of the free trade agreements available to them to support their export strategy. 

For instance, despite the landmark agreement between Australia and North America, a quarter of Australian exporters remain unaware of the AUSFTA – highlighting just how much potential is lost without comprehensive resources related to the free trade agreements. Therefore, it's critical for companies looking to expand into international markets to be more informed about the different free trade agreements in place with Australia so they can make the most out of their exports.

How can businesses in Australia maximise usage of the AUSFTA

1. Tariff concessions

Under the AUSFTA, both countries have agreed to reduce or eliminate tariffs on imported goods. This makes it easier for Australian exporters to access US markets, as they will no longer be subject to high import duties. Additionally, the concessions help protect businesses from sudden increases in tariffs imposed by their trading partner countries. This provides a more stable environment and continued revenue for businesses who rely on imports and exports.

2. Lower import costs

AUSFTA also reduces or eliminates other trade barriers such as quotas and non-tariff measures which may have been imposed in the past. This can result in lower import costs for Australian businesses, providing them with greater cost savings or increased profits when doing business with US companies. It also ensures that all market access conditions are fair and transparent so that businesses can have greater confidence when entering into international agreements.

3. Make strategic moves

The stability offered by AUSFTA means that businesses can confidently make strategic moves such as investing in new markets or expanding into different sectors without fear of being affected by changing trade conditions between Australia and the United States. In addition, it provides legal certainty around commercial contracts which can help protect both parties involved if there are any disputes during negotiations or after an agreement has been reached. This is especially beneficial for small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) who may not have access to large legal teams or resources to resolve potential issues quickly.

Improve your export strategy to the US with the AUSFTA

The AUSFTA is full of opportunities for Australian businesses looking to tap into new markets, reduce costs and increase profits through lower import payments, whilst enjoying the security offered by its stability provisions. With tariff reductions and elimination of trade barriers, you can take advantage of improved market access conditions designed specifically for your sector’s needs. So go ahead – explore what free trade agreements have to offer your business today.

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