In the last two years the Australian Government has finalised bilateral trade agreements with China, Korea and Japan, which are now in force. The Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement is currently being reviewed by a parliamentary committee before its implementing legislation is put to a vote. Australia is currently involved in multilateral negotiations towards PACER-plus, the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) and the Trade In Services Agreement (TISA). It is also negotiating bilateral trade agreements with India and Indonesia and will begin talks with Hong Kong and Taiwan later this year and the EU next year.
Other Bilateral FTAs
The impasse at the World Trade Organisation has seen many countries respond by exploring bilateral and regional trade agreements.
The proliferation of bilateral agreements is characterised by imbalances in trading power, lack of adequate impacts assessment, and often more regulatory restrictions for governments than under the WTO.