Launch of Australia–UK Free Trade Agreement Negotiations

03 Jul 2020

Negotiations for the Australia-UK Free Trade Agreement (FTA) were launched on 17 June 2020 in a joint statement by the Hon Simon Birmingham, Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment, and his UK counterpart, the Rt Hon Liz Truss.

An FTA between Australia and the UK will build on the existing strengths in two-way trade and investment and support post-COVID economic recovery in both countries. The FTA will make it easier for businesses to export, increase trade and create new opportunities for Australian businesses.

The UK is Australia’s seventh-largest trading partner with two-way goods and services trade valued at $30.3 billion in 2018–19. UK is currently Australia’s third-largest services trading partner, and second-largest overseas investor.

The FTA will open up opportunities for Australian exporters and will seek to drive increased trade in goods and services, economic growth and job creation by seeking to:

  • Eliminate tariffs for all goods and establish mechanisms that address non-tariff barriers
  • Secure commitments from the UK that strengthen our trade relationship across all services sectors, including mutual recognition of professional qualifications.
  • Reduce barriers to temporary labour mobility for skilled professionals.

The first round of negotiations for the FTA commenced on 29 June virtually.

Exporters and other interested stakeholders are encouraged to provide submissions to inform the negotiation process.

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade has more information on the Australia-UK FTA, including a benefits fact sheet.