Minister for Trade and Investment Andrew Robb has welcomed the opening of the Building our Future Prosperity conference in Sydney today, marking the 10th anniversary of the Australia-United States Free Trade Agreement (AUSFTA).

AUSFTA has proven its value to Australian businesses in the ten years since its entry into force. 

“The business community has experienced much lower tariffs on our exports to the United States thanks to the agreement, and I encourage Australian exporters to continue maximising the opportunities it provides,” Mr Robb said.

Two-way trade in goods and services between Australia and the United States has increased from $41 billion in 2004, the year prior to AUSFTA’s entry into force, to more than $60 billion in 2014.  

In that time, the proportion of imports from Australia entering the United States tariff-free has increased dramatically.  In 2004, only 46 per cent of imports from Australia entered the United States tariff-free.  By 2014, 90 per cent of imports from Australia entered the United States tariff-free.  A further 6 per cent of Australian imports entered under preferential AUSFTA tariff rates.

On 1 January 2015, duties on a further 10.7 per cent of US tariff lines were removed, and more reductions will ensue.  By 2023, 98.4 per cent of US tariff lines will be duty-free.

Two-way investment has more than doubled, from $642 billion in 2004 to over $1.3 trillion in 2014.  The United States is the largest investor in Australia and the number one destination for Australian investment abroad. 

AUSFTA benefits also continue to flow to Australian importers and consumers.  As a result of AUSFTA, in 2014 $7.5 billion of US imports into Australia were tariff-free, out of a total of $7.6 billion that used AUSFTA. 

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