Zoellick: formal U.S./Australia FTA signing set for May 18
The Bush administration’s chief trade negotiator Robert Zoellick said the United States and Australia will formerly sign a free-trade agreement May 18.
Zoellick and his Australian counterpart concluded the text of the agreement Feb. 8.
In 2002, Australia was the United States’ 13th-largest single-country export market for goods. Two-way annual goods and service is about $28 billion. Australia is a key export market for American-made planes, autos and auto parts, chemicals and wood and paper products.
The free-trade agreement eliminates many former tariffs on products shipped between the countries. However, powerful agricultural lobbies representing American beef, dairy and sugar products successfully convinced the Bush administration to maintain traditional trade protections for their products in the agreement.