Proposed Australia-European Union Free Trade Agreement—2016 Submission

Submission Overview

The ECA welcomes the opportunity to provide a submission to DFAT on the potential outcomes and impacts of the Australia-EU FTA. The ECA supports international agreements that serve to further liberalise trade between Australia and the rest of the world as trade is a driver of economic growth, job creation and long-term prosperity.

While the ECA would prefer international liberalisation of trade to advance on a multi – lateral basis, given the failure of the Doha Round of negotiations at the WTO, advances in liberalisation of international trade must occur, by default, pursuant to regional, bilateral and other FTAs or similar agreements. On that basis, the ECA is of the view that the Australia-EU FTA represents a reasonable and desirable outcome to advance Australian trade.

The ECA is also of the view that negotiations regarding an FTA will not always deliver a "perfect" outcome in which both parties secure all their aims for now and the future. Like any other agreement, any FTA represents a compromise outcome reflecting the respective negotiating strengths of the parties. On that basis the ECA believes that the Australia-EU FTA represents a significant opportunity to improve market access to the EU, especially given the need for Australia to advance its interests where its other competing trade partners have already secured, or are currently seeking to secure, FTAs with the EU.

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Ed Serrano
Managing Director,
VEKTA Advanced Automation
Member of the ECA

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Export Finance Australia Oct 2020