April 24, 2019: The Guardian has reported that US energy company APR has failed in its attempt to use the US-Australia Free Trade Agreement (AUSFTA) to sue the Australian government for compensation because of an adverse court decision.
16 April 2016
All of the peer-reviewed academic studies of AUSFTA, including those done by the Productivity Commission, have concluded that the potential economic benefits of the agreement were oversold, with actual economic outcomes for Australia either minuscule or negative. However the agreement required substantial changes to Australian law and policies which benefited US corporations at the expense of Australian citizens.
AFTINET has made a short submission to DFAT's 10 year review of the USFTA, which summarises and references all of these studies. You can download it here.
The Australia/US FTA came into force on 1 January 2005. A large community campaign grew around the US FTA negotiations because the US government identified important Australian health, cultural, social and environmental policies as barriers to trade, and sought to change them through the trade negotiations. Community groups advocated that such policies should be decided democratically through parliamentary process, not negotiated away in a trade agreement. Many unions, community groups, environment groups, academics and individual activists were involved in this campaign.