March 16, 2022

CANBERRA, AUSTRALIA – Deputy United States Trade Representative Sarah Bianchi took part in several key meetings with the Australian government. Ambassador Bianchi met with Minister for Trade, Tourism, and Investment Dan Tehan, spoke with Secretary for Agriculture, Water, and Environment Andrew Metcalfe, and co-chaired the Free Trade Agreement Joint Committee meeting with Associate Secretary for Trade and Investment Tim Yeend.

During the meeting with Minister Tehan, Ambassador Bianchi discussed the United States’ commitment to the Indo-Pacific region and outlined the Biden-Harris Administration’s efforts to develop an Indo-Pacific Economic Framework.  In particular, Ambassador Bianchi highlighted USTR’s desire to work with Indo-Pacific partners to establish a high-ambition trade initiative that will advance resilience, inclusion, sustainability, and the interests of our respective middle classes.

At the meeting with Secretary Metcalfe, Ambassador Bianchi and her counterpart discussed agricultural trade priorities.  The United States and Australia committed to working together to address outstanding agricultural concerns, including committing to convene a meeting of the Sanitary and Phytosanitary Committee under the Free Trade Agreement (FTA).  The two sides will organize a meeting of the FTA SPS Committee before the end of 2022, and to continue conversations on priorities ahead of this meeting.

Concluding her time in the nation’s capital, Ambassador Bianchi co-chaired the U.S.-Australia FTA Joint Committee meeting with Associate Secretary Yeend. During the conversation, Ambassador Bianchi provided an update on the Biden-Harris Administration’s vision for the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework.  Ambassador Bianchi and Associate Secretary Yeend also discussed key issues and areas of potential cooperation, at the WTO and APEC. The two also agreed to work together to finalize technical changes to the FTA product-specific rules of origin to reflect changes in the Harmonized System. 

Background on FTA JC Meeting

Since the FTA entered into force in 2005, two-way goods trade between the United States and Australia has increased by 81 percent, with a U.S. surplus of $14.0 billion in 2021. Two-way services trade has doubled since the FTA entered into force, reaching $20.9 billion in 2021.

From 2005 to 2020 (latest data available), outbound investment from the United States to Australia increased 116 percent, while FDI inward investment from Australia into the United States increased 169 percent.