Trade Agreements Between Australia And Thailand
points out that the federal government has still not recognized a link between further trade liberalization and the many sustainable development issues. This omission is particularly worrisome considering that the free trade agreement was negotiated with Thailand, a developing country facing many environmental and social problems.169 Although it has often been found that the Australian and Thai automotive industries offer some degree of complementarity, it is also clear that this has not fully translated into increased bilateral trade in automotive products. This is largely due to the extent of tariff and non-tariff barriers that Australian exporters have had to face so far to ensure access to the Thai market. 66 This is the first free trade agreement negotiated with an industrialized country by Thailand and its first “comprehensive” free trade agreement. This means that it includes not only trade in goods, but also trade in services, intellectual property protection and new privileges for investors. Tariffs that have not been abolished immediately will be phased out, with 95% of the current total trade between Australia and Thailand being totally tariff-free by 2010. In some cases, these rates were up to 200%. Given the strength of both markets and the opportunities to supplement products in these markets, Holden believes that the free trade agreement could increase trade between our countries in both directions.84 According to HAL, few horticultural goods important to the Australian industry achieve immediate free trade after the agreement comes into force. However, within five years of entry into force, Thai tariffs on approximately 50% of the value of fresh produce currently traded (AUD 5.4 million) and 30% of the value of processed products currently traded (AUD 1.9 million) will be removed. The remaining tariffs will be adjusted to zero until 2010, with the abolition of the final tariff (on fresh potatoes) in 2020.35 should allow for the review and re-examination of parts of the agreement in light of the circumstances. These reflect the intention of both countries that the agreement should not be static and that an amendment should be considered if it were consistent with the objective of the Trade and Investment Relations Agreement.160 Although the agreement brings significant benefits to the Australian automotive industry by reducing tariffs, the Committee recognizes the importance of removing non-tariff barriers.
, and notes Ford Motor Company`s explanation that the overall level of Australian auto exports is negligible and has declined, if at all, in recent years.