Australia-UK Free Trade Agreement
From the High Comissioner
When the UK decided to leave the European Union and forge a new path in the world, Australia was among the first countries to embrace the vision of a global Britain.
We did so not out of nostalgia but for the future prosperity that a free trade deal can bring.
For over two decades, free trade has been the Australian way. It has strengthened our ties with partners around the world, grown our economy and created more jobs right across our nation.
Britain has a proud heritage as a global, trading nation -- and Australia stands ready to reignite our links once more and do deal that helps us bounce back from the coronavirus.
When Australia and the United Kingdom come together, we do more than sign a deal: we define generations -- so let’s do what our nations do best: think big, be bold and work together to get this deal done.
A deal that forges stronger ties between our countries will power our recovery.
It will mean more jobs, more growth and more opportunities for both our citizens to live and work in each other’s countries post-COVID.
UK businesses traded £21 billion worth of goods and services with Australia in 2019.
To foster stronger ties, Australia will aim to secure the elimination of tariffs for all goods, and establish mechanisms that address non-tariff barriers to trade between Australia and the UK.
Why is the Australian Government pursuing a FTA with the UK?
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (UK) is one of Australia’s most important partners. Australia has a significant and unique relationship with the UK, underpinned by our shared heritage, common values, historic people-to-people links and advanced, open economies.
Australia-UK FTA Objectives Fact Sheet
Australia is seeking to negotiate a comprehensive and high-quality FTA with the United Kingdom (UK), our seventh-largest trading partner. This document provides an overview of Australia’s negotiating objectives.
Now is the time for Australia and the UK to reignite economic ties
Why Australia? Why not? Take wine. One in five bottles of wine sold in the UK is from Australia (despite facing a tariff that doesn’t currently apply to European wines). In medical services, Australian firm Cochlear is one of the largest suppliers of implantable hearing devices across the UK, while Sonic Healthcare provides a number of services for the NHS.
Likewise, Australia offers huge opportunities for UK firms. London’s reputation as the financial capital of the world stands to benefit as we deepen our links in financial services. There is also real potential to grow our wider services trade well beyond the $15bn (£8.5) of value it generates now.
Australia is ready to help the UK find new beginnings and create more opportunities for businesses and innovative industries as we rediscover why we used to trade more with each other – because of the quality of our people and what we produce; and because we can rely on each other when times get tough.
High quality rules and standards
Australia will seek high-quality commitments on key sustainability issues, such as environmental protection and labour rights, that align with internationally agreed principles, standards and rules.
Ease of doing business
Australia will aim to address non-tariff barriers (NTBs) by assessing and removing trade-restrictive measures for trade in goods. Commitments seeking enhanced transparency for customs procedures will also make it easier for Australian companies to do business with the UK.
The rapid rise of technology and digitisation is transforming global economies and creating new opportunities for businesses and consumers. Digital trade is also playing a key role in the economic recovery from COVID-19.
Australia will seek modern commitments with the UK that will reduce digital trade barriers and assist Australians to engage with, and benefit from, the digital economy. These will be complemented by provisions ensuring appropriate protections for consumers and for legitimate public policy objectives.