PACIFIC ECONOMIC PAPERS NO. 345, 2005
Australia and the United States signed a bilateral trade agreement in 2004. This paper analyses the provisions of the agreement, compares the provisions with other bilateral and multilateral agreements and comments on the modelling that the Australian Government used to estimate the likely benefits of the agreement. The author concludes that the modelling relied on overstates the potential gains from the agreement, which establishes many undesirable precedents, especially in relation to sugar, rules of origin, safeguard provisions and intellectual property. The author argues that bilateral agreements of this type could be severely disruptive to future trade relations within the Asian region, particularly with China.