Treaties Committee supports ratification of Australia-UK Free Trade Agreement
THE PARLIAMENTARY Joint Standing Committee on Treaties has recommended the Australian Government ratifies the Free Trade Agreement between Australia and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (AUKFTA).
Committee Chair Josh Wilson MP said, “The AUKFTA reflects the longstanding importance, quality, and depth of the political, cultural, and economic relationship between Australia and the United Kingdom while looking to set a framework for future trade and cooperation.
“The AUKFTA would contribute to diversifying Australia’s trade and addresses both traditional free trade agreement concerns while incorporating a range of wider social and economic principles. At the same time, the AUKFTA preserves policy and regulatory space for Parties in rapidly evolving sectors such as digital trade and financial services”, Mr Wilson said.
The committee agreed the liberalisation outcomes appeared balanced and while noting there remained some barriers to trade in goods, it was recognised that on entry into force 99 percent of Australian goods exports by value would enter into the UK without tariffs. They also saw the liberalisation of the rules for services and investment as having the potential to open new markets for Australian service suppliers.
The committee did however, express ongoing concern regarding the lack of independent economic impact analysis, and the substance and quality of consultation.
As such, the committee also recommended the Australian Government implement the recommendations of its previously made Report 193: Strengthening the Trade Agreement and Treaty-Making Process in Australia.
The report can be found on the Committee website, along with further information on the inquiry.