New Opportunities with TPP – Increasing U.S. Exports to Australia

May 25, 2016

Karen Ballard is the Vice Counselor for Commercial Affairs for Australia and New Zealand at the U.S. Consulate in Sydney, Australia. Dr. Doug Hartley is the Commercial Specialist for Aerospace and Marine industries at the U.S. Embassy in Canberra, Australia.

Australia and the United States enjoy a very close alliance.

Trans-Pacific Partnership logoAustralia shares many cultural traditions and values with the United States, and has played a key role in the United States’ rebalance to Asia strategy.  The country is a rules-based democracy with a familiar legal and corporate framework, sophisticated consumer and industrial sectors, and a straightforward, English-speaking business culture.

Australia is the world’s 12th largest economy and the U.S. exported $26.6 billion in goods and $19.4 billion in services to Australia in 2014.The trade relationship has been helped by the 2005 U.S.-Australia Free Trade Agreement (AUSFTA), which has effectively eliminated tariffs on most goods.

As the U.S.-Australia bilateral trade relationship is already underpinned by the 11-year-old AUSFTA and the three-year-old Australia U.S. Defense Trade Cooperation Treaty, the TPP finely tunes an already robust partnership through improved customs provisions and regulatory practices, and rules of origin that incentivize manufacturing in the United States.

Our two countries cooperated closely in the successful conclusion of the TPP negotiations, as the TPP represents a big step forward for trade in the Asia-Pacific region and a clear incremental improvement on the AUSFTA.  TPP will build on AUSFTA, and open up new opportunities for both Australian and U.S. companies alike throughout the Asia-Pacific.  The TPP will also assist Australia’s transition into a 21st century economy driven by services and advanced technology, and less dependent on extractive industries.

Australia’s location makes it a natural strategic partner to the northern hemisphere.  It is a market of opportunity for U.S. companies in the fields of machinery, automobile products, chemicals, health and medical technology, and information and communication technologies.

The three upcoming major defense shows in Australia, Land Forces 2016-Adelaide,  Avalon 2017-Melbourne and Pacific 2017-Sydney, all prominently feature U.S. products and services.

Recently, Australia has committed to a significant expansion of its defense capabilities, proposing $140 billion in new equipment and systems acquisitions over the coming decade.  In 2015, Australia was ranked as the 3rd largest importer of large defense systems worldwide*.  The United States is by far the major overseas source for Australian military needs.  Australia is a particularly close and important partner on the F-35 aircraft program.  U.S. defense exports are helped to a high degree by this alliance and the desire for interoperability between our military forces.

We believe 2016-17 will continue to show opportunities in the Australian market for American companies with innovative products and technologies.  We invite U.S. exporters to contact us to help analyze and execute business objectives for the Australian market.

For more information on U.S. export opportunities in Australia under TPP please see our Australia TPP report and to look up tariff information under both TPP and the AUSFTA please visit the FTA Tariff Tool.

*Stockholm International Peace Research Institute

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