[House Document 108-199]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office]



                                     

108th Congress, 2d Session - - - - - - - - - - - - House Document 108-
199
 
                      THE UNITED STATES-AUSTRALIA

                          FREE TRADE AGREEMENT

                               __________

                                MESSAGE

                                  from

                   THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES

                              transmitting

 A DRAFT OF PROPOSED LEGISLATION AND SUPPORTING DOCUMENTS TO IMPLEMENT 
         THE UNITED STATES-AUSTRALIA FREE TRADE AGREEMENT (FTA)




    July 7, 2004.--Message and accompanying papers referred to the 
         Committee on Ways and Means and ordered to be printed
To the Congress of the United States:
    I am pleased to transmit legislation and supporting 
documents prepared by my Administration to implement the United 
States-Australia Free Trade Agreement (FTA). This Agreement 
adds an important dimension to our bilateral relationship with 
a steadfast ally in the global economic and strategic arena. 
This FTA will enhance the prosperity of the people of the 
United States and Australia, serve the interest of expanding 
U.S. commerce, and advance our overall national interest.
    My Administration is committed to securing a level playing 
field and creating opportunities for America's workers, 
farmers, and businesses. The United States and Australia 
already enjoy a strong trade relationship. The U.S.-Australia 
FTA will further open Australia's market for U.S. manufactured 
goods, agricultural products, and services, and will promote 
new growth in our bilateral trade. As soon as this FTA enters 
into force, tariffs will be eliminated on almost all 
manufactured goods traded between our countries, providing 
significant export opportunities for American manufacturers. 
American farmers will also benefit due to the elimination of 
tariffs on all exports of U.S. agricultural products.
    The U.S.-Australia FTA will also benefit small- and medium-
sized businesses and their employees. Such firms already 
account for a significant amount of bilateral trade. The market 
opening resulting from this Agreement presents opportunities 
for those firms looking to start or enhance participation in 
global trade.
    In negotiating this FTA, my Administration was guided by 
the negotiating objectives set out in the Trade Act of 2002. 
The Agreement's provisions on agriculture represent a balanced 
response to those seeking improved access to Australia's 
markets, through immediate elimination of tariffs on U.S. 
exports and mechanisms to resolve sanitary and phytosanitary 
issues and facilitate trade between our countries, while 
recognizing the sensitive nature of some U.S. agricultural 
sectors and their possible vulnerability to increased imports.
    The U.S.-Australia FTA also reinforces the importance of 
creativity and technology to both of our economies. The 
Agreement includes rules providing for strong protection and 
enforcement of intellectual property rights, promotes the use 
of electronic commerce, and provides for increased cooperation 
between our agencies on addressing anticompetitive practices, 
financial services, telecommunications, and other matters.
    The Agreement memorializes our shared commitment to labor 
and environmental issues. The United States and Australia have 
worked in close cooperation on these issues in the past and 
will pursue this strategy and commitment to cooperation in 
bilateral and global fora in the future.
    With the approval of this Agreement and passage of the 
implementing legislation by the Congress, we will advance U.S. 
economic, security, and political interests, and set an example 
of the benefits of free trade and democracy for the world.
                                                    George W. Bush.
    The White House July 6, 2004.