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 The US-Australia Free Trade Agreement: the last five years, the next five years

Five years after the signing of the US-Australia Free Trade Agreement and following changes of government in both countries, the trade relationship between the United States and Australia is ripe for reassessment.
How successful has the Agreement been in facilitating trade? Has it assisted in cementing the political relationship between the two countries? Where is trade policy going now given that we are in a very different economic and political climate?
The 2009 Fulbright Symposium brought together academics, policy-makers, industry leaders and commentators to review the economic and political impact of the agreement and to consider the future of the trade and political relationships between the two countries.
The Symposium seeked to provide an honest assessment of the impact of the Free Trade Agreement as a platform from which to think about how the trade relationship between Australia, the United States and third party countries in the Asia-Pacific region is likely to evolve over the next few years. There was a mixture of both plenary sessions, which dealt with broad themes and issues, and parallel sessions, which were devoted to much more specific issues and topics. Sessions included:
  • The evolving political and trade relationships between Australia and the US
  • The proliferation of trade agreements in the Asia-Pacific Region
  • Trade in Services
  • Investment and Financial Services
  • Health Policy, Patents and Pharmaceuticals
  • Intellectual Property Rights
  • Agriculture and Quarantine
  • Culture and Local Content Rules
At a time when both Australia and the United States face a challenging economic and trade environment, and against the backdrop of an apparent rise in protectionism, this Symposium provided an opportunity to reassess both where we are and where we are headed.
The 2009 Fulbright Symposium was proudly hosted by the TC Beirne School of Law at The University of Queensland and supported by the Australian-American Fulbright Commission.
For more information on the 2009 Fulbright Symposium please click here to download the report.