The United States and Australia have a close and cooperative trade relationship, which is underpinned by the U.S.-Australia Free Trade Agreement (FTA). The United States monitors implementation of the FTA closely and meets regularly with Australia under the FTA to discuss the functioning of the agreement and address specific trade issues. The Joint Committee set up under the FTA supervises implementation of the Agreement and review of the overall trade and investment relationship. The agreement also establishes committees on goods, agriculture, sanitary and phytosanitary matters, and financial services as well as subcommittees on labor and environment, which report to the Joint Committee.
The full text of the Agreement is available here and the Advisory Committee Reports are available here. The latest information regarding significant trade barriers can be found in the 2021 National Trade Estimate Report, see here.
Economic and Trade Statistics
In 2020, Australia GDP was an estimated $1.3 trillion (current market exchange rates); real GDP was down by an estimated 4.2 percent; and the population was 26 million. (Source: IMF)
U.S. goods and services trade with Australia totaled an estimated $58.7 billion in 2020. Exports were $38.5 billion; imports were $20.2 billion. The U.S. goods and services trade surplus with Australia was $18.3 billion in 2020.
Australia is currently our 21st largest goods trading partner with $37.8 billion in total (two way) goods trade during 2020. Goods exports totaled $23.4 billion; goods imports totaled $14.4 billion. The U.S. goods trade surplus with Australia was $9.0 billion in 2020.
Trade in services with Australia (exports and imports) totaled an estimated $20.9 billion in 2020. Services exports were $15.1 billion; services imports were $5.8 billion. The U.S. services trade surplus with Australia was $9.3 billion in 2020.
According to the Department of Commerce, U.S. exports of goods and services to Australia supported an estimated 221 thousand jobs in 2019 (latest data available) (111 thousand supported by goods exports and 110 thousand supported by services exports).
• Australia was the United States' 16th largest goods export market in 2020.
• U.S. goods exports to Australia in 2020 were $23.4 billion, down 9.6 percent ($2.5 billion) from 2019 but up 7 percent from 2010. U.S. exports to Australia are up 67.5 percent from 2004 (pre-FTA). U.S. exports to Australia account for 1.6 percent of overall U.S. exports in 2020.
• The top export categories (2-digit HS) in 2020 were: machinery ($4.3 billion), vehicles ($3.1 billion), optical and medical instruments ($2.2 billion), electrical machinery ($2.1 billion), and pharmaceuticals ($1.5 billion).
• U.S. total exports of agricultural products to Australia totaled $1.6 billion in 2020, our 17th largest agricultural export market. Leading domestic export categories include: pork and pork products ($253 million), dairy products ($170 million), distilled spirits ($115 million), food preparations ($106 million), and fresh fruit ($95 million).
• U.S. exports of services to Australia were an estimated $15.1 billion in 2020, 30.8 percent ($6.7 billion) less than 2019, but 6 percent less than 2010 levels. It was up roughly 102.5 percent from 2004 (pre-FTA). Leading services exports from the U.S. to Australia were in the financial services, telecommunications, computer, and information services, and intellectual property (licences for the use of computer software) sectors.
• Australia was the United States' 25th largest supplier of goods imports in 2020.
• U.S. goods imports from Australia totaled $14.4 billion in 2020, up 33.3 percent ($3.6 billion) from 2019, and up 68 percent from 2010. U.S. imports from Australia are up 91.2 percent from 2004 (pre-FTA).
• The top import categories (2-digit HS) in 2020 were: precious metal and stone (coin) ($5.0 billion), meat (beef) ($2.3 billion), pharmaceuticals ($1.2 billion), special other (returns and repairs) ($873 million), and optical and medical instruments ($683 million).
• U.S. total imports of agricultural products from Australia totaled $3.4 billion in 2020, our 8th largest supplier of agricultural imports. Leading categories include: beef and beef products ($1.5 billion), other meat products ($753 million), wine and related products ($319 million), other feeds and grain products ($168 million), and other livestock products ($126 million).
• U.S. imports of services from Australia were an estimated $5.8 billion in 2020, 31.6 percent ($2.7 billion) less than 2019, but 5 percent less than 2010 levels. It was up roughly 64.5 percent from 2004 (pre-FTA). Leading services imports from Australia to the U.S. were in the professional and management services, financial services, and technical and other services sectors.
• The U.S. goods trade surplus with Australia was $9.0 billion in 2020, a 40.5 percent decrease ($6.1 billion) over 2019.
• The United States has a services trade surplus of an estimated $9.3 billion with Australia in 2020, down 30.4 percent from 2019.
• U.S. foreign direct investment (FDI) in Australia (stock) was $163.5 billion in 2020, a 1.4 percent increase from 2019. U.S. direct investment in Australia is led by nonbank holding companies, finance and insurance, and manufacturing.
• Australia's FDI in the United States (stock) was $98.0 billion in 2020, up 10.0 percent from 2019. Australia's reported direct investment in the U.S. is led by manufacturing, professional, scientific, and technical services, and finance and insurance.
• Sales of services in Australia by majority U.S.-owned affiliates were $54.7 billion in 2018 (latest data available), while sales of services in the United States by majority Australia-owned firms were $15.4 billion.