Austrailian Free Trade Agreement

The Australia – United States Free Trade Agreement (AUSFTA) is a preferential trade agreement between Australia and the United States modeled on the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). The AUSFTA was signed on 18 May 2004 and came into effect on 1 January 2005. The U.S. first proposed a free trade agreement with Australia as far back as 1945. It was not until early 2001, after the election of George W. Bush in the U.S. and with John Howard in power in Australia, that an Australia-U.S.

The FTA was ratified by the United States Congress with the passage of the United States-Australia Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act. It was passed by the House of Representatives on 14 July 2004 by a vote of 314–109 and by the Senate on 15 July 2004 by a vote of 80–16 and signed into law by President George W. Bush on 3 August 2004.

In Australia, the agreement’s implementing legislation, the US Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act 2004, was reluctantly passed, with amendments, by the Senate on 13 August 2004. After some delay, the U.S. Administration accepted the amended Australian legislation as being consistent with implementation of the agreement. The Agreement came into force in both countries on 1 January 2005.