Business Council Hails US Free Trade Agreement

Business Council of Australia President, Mr Hugh Morgan, today described the signing of a free trade agreement (FTA) with the United States as an historic moment for Australia.

“The agreement will provide massive opportunities for Australian companies of all sizes to gain access to the world’s largest market,” Mr Morgan said.

“It will deepen Australia’s economic and investment relationships with the US beyond what we might reasonably expect from WTO arrangements to improve access for Australian business in key markets.

“The agreement should be welcomed by everyone with an interest in Australia’s long-term economic growth.”

Mr Morgan said the benefits would be felt in almost every part of our economy, particularly export areas which were vital to Australia’s future, including financial and professional services, manufacturing and IT.

He said the BCA would continue to give vigorous support to multilateral trade negotiations involving Australia.

But at the same time it recognised the major importance and benefits for business of concurrently pursuing bilateral trade agreements such as the US FTA, as a legitimate strategy in our national interests and similar to that pursued by many other countries.

“The agreement will lower the cost of market entry, lower the costs of doing business in the US and largely remove the threat of protectionist action that many or our efficient and successful companies currently face in the United States,” he said.

“These are important competitive advantages that Australian business will be able to leverage as a result of this path-finding agreement.”