Australia will soon be heading towards a trade deal similar to one between Canada and the United States, the world’s two largest economies.
Key points: The US and Canada signed a free trade agreement in December, with the two countries set to trade with each other for up to 20 years.
They agreed on a number of new regulations but both sides are yet to finalise their final agreement.
The deal has been described as “a model of fairness and economic efficiency” and is expected to see the opening of hundreds of thousands of jobs.
The Federal Government says the deal is designed to provide certainty to businesses and to the economy.
“We are going to be able to make this agreement and the deal that we make, so we’re not going to have any uncertainty whatsoever,” Foreign Minister Julie Bishop told ABC Radio in Melbourne.
“The uncertainty around that is that there are going be some regulatory changes, some of those changes are still under discussion, but the agreement that we have is a model of fair trade and efficiency.”
The trade agreement was the first major deal between the two nations, which have been trading since the 1980s.
Ms Bishop says the Government has already secured the approval of key members of the Australian Government, including the Minister for Trade, Trade Development and Industry.
“There’s been a lot of support for the deal from the Prime Minister, I think it’s been signed by his wife, his cabinet, and we’re going to get that approval in the coming weeks,” she said.
“What that means is that we’re in a very good position to get it through the Senate, we’re also in a position to move it through both houses of Parliament, so it’s quite a smooth process.”
Trade minister has also been tasked with drafting a report on the deal to be sent to the Government by the end of the year.ABC Fact Check asks what is the difference between the US-Canada trade agreement and that with Canada?
What is a trade agreement?
A trade agreement is a legally binding agreement between two countries which sets out the rules and regulations that apply to each other.
It also sets out how goods, services and capital will be taxed and regulated.
The US- Canada deal is set to be signed by US President Donald Trump and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Wednesday.
“This is the first trade deal between our two countries that we’ve signed, and it is going to bring millions of jobs to Australia, many of which will be temporary,” Ms Bishop said.
What are the differences?
The deal is different in a number ways.
It is a free-trade agreement, with no tariffs or quotas.
This is one of the reasons the agreement is so important.
“This is going be a deal between Canada, the US and the entire world, so there will be very little trade barriers between the United Kingdom and Canada, between Germany and Australia, and many other countries,” Ms Bishops said.US President Donald J Trump has promised to renegotiate the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), which was signed by the world leaders in December and contains many of the same rules and tariffs that will apply to Australia.
However, the deal with Canada was struck without any tariffs or restrictions.
“That means that we are going back to a system of trade that is very different to that of our neighbours, that we recognise is a fair system and it’s one that has helped build our economy, but it is not fair to our trading partners,” Ms Byrnes said.
She says that means there are no tariffs on imports from the United states and other countries.
“In a free market system, if you have a country like the United Sates that is importing a lot from other countries, you want to make sure that that country can buy what it needs, that the country that’s importing the products has the appropriate protection, that’s one of our core values,” Ms Byrne said.
A US trade representative also confirmed the deal would not require a deal with Australia.
“I think it is absolutely important to recognise that we want to have a fair and competitive system,” the US trade official told the ABC.
“If we do get the approval for this agreement, that is something we will take very seriously, and that will be our focus.”
Ms Bishop said the deal was “well-balanced” in terms of benefits for all Australians.
“For me personally, I would say it would be a win-win for Australia and the US,” she told ABC News.
“As a trade partner we have been able to increase our exports and the number of jobs in our country have been growing.”
Topics:government-and-politics,business-economics-and,federal-government,international-aid-and -trade,foreign-affairs,australiaFirst posted November 01, 2019 14:29:00Contact Brett WhitehurstMore stories from New South Wales