On Saturday 12 November 2011, Prime Minister the Hon. Julia Gillard MP together with Trade Minister Dr Craig Emerson MP, attended a Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) leaders discussion in Hawaii led by President of the United States Barack Obama. Their joint press release is available at http://www.pm.gov.au/press-office/transcript-joint-press-conference-honolulu.
The TPP leaders’ statement generated by the meeting is available at http://www.dfat.gov.au/trade/tpp/TPP_Leaders_Statement.pdf.
The leaders also endorsed a report from their trade ministers, available at http://www.dfat.gov.au/trade/tpp/TPP_Ministers_Report_to_Leaders.pdf.
The Prime Minister indicated that together with the seven other TPP nations, Australia will work towards the legal text of the agreement during 2012. The aim of the TPP is to eliminate barriers to trade in the region, ultimately leading to the elimination of tariffs and a free trade zone in the Asia-Pacific region.
A broad outline of the agreement, including key areas for negotiation, is available at http://www.dfat.gov.au/trade/tpp/TPP_broad_outlines%20.pdf.
Although it is not an existing member, Japan has flagged its interest in joining the TPP member countries.
Australia’s Existing Trade Agreements with Potential TPP Partners
· New Zealand
Australia has had the Australia-New Zealand Closer Economic Relations Trade Agreement (ANZCERTA) since 1983. ANZCERTA was the first of Australia’s bilateral trade agreements. More details are available at http://www.dfat.gov.au/fta/anzcerta/index.html.
In 2003, the Singapore-Australia Free Trade Agreement (SAFTA) became Australia’s second bilateral trade agreement. More details are available at http://www.dfat.gov.au/fta/safta/index.html.
The Australia-United States Free Trade Agreement (AUSFTA) came into force in 2005, and promotes two-way investment while securing Australia’s interests around health, quarantine and food safety regimes. More details are available at http://www.dfat.gov.au/fta/ausfta/index.html.
· Brunei, Malaysia, Vietnam
In 2010, Australia entered the ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand Free Trade Area (AANZFTA), its first multilateral free trade agreement. As countries of ASEAN, Malaysia, Vietnam and Brunei are all part of the AANZFTA. More details are available at http://www.dfat.gov.au/fta/aanzfta/index.html. In addition to AANZFTA, the Australian and Malaysian Prime Ministers have committed to the pursuit of the Malaysia-Australia Free Trade Agreement (MAFTA) by March 2012. More details are available at http://www.dfat.gov.au/fta/amfta/.
The Australia-Chile Free Trade Agreement was the first to be concluded with a Latin American country when it came into force in 2008. More details are available at http://www.dfat.gov.au/fta/aclfta/index.html.
Australia’s does not currently have a free trade agreement with Peru, however more details of the current trading relationship are available at http://www.austrade.gov.au/Peru-profile/default.aspx.
For more information, contact your Hawker Britton consultant.