Australia and United States economic partnership

Australia and the United States are trusted trade and investment partners, conducting US$65 billion in two way trade and an investment relationship valued at US$1.1 trillion, making the United States Australia’s largest economic partner. A quarter of Australia’s inward foreign investment – more than A$860.9 billion is from the United States.

Trade between the US and Australia is underpinned by the Australia-United States Free Trade Agreement (AUSFTA) which came into effect in 2005. Since AUSFTA, exports of US goods to Australia have increased by over 91 per cent.

Some key indicators are:

  • US trade with Australia supports over 300,000 US jobs. Australian companies employ 180,000 people in the US, including over 18,000 in Texas alone.
  • Australia has a diverse economy which is reflected in our economic relationship with the United States. In California for example, there are Australian companies operating in 83 different industries.
  • Australia is the biggest exporter to the United States in beef. Australia also exports aircraft, spacecraft and parts; and pharmaceutical products, excluding medicaments.
  • The US invests more in Australia than in any other country in the Asia-Pacific. Australia’s investment in the US totals almost half a trillion US dollars.
  • The largest American exports to Australia are passenger motor vehicles; aircraft, spacecraft and parts; medical instruments; and measuring and analysing instruments.
  • The US runs a large trade surplus with Australia.
  • Over 1.3 million Australian tourists visit the United States each year, spending more than US $8.7 billion in the US, supporting thousands of jobs.
  • Australia is the third largest source of international tourists to California in the world.

Over 10,000 Australian companies sell to or operate in the United States, including Westfield, Brambles, Atlassian, Vidy and Bluestone Lane.

The Australia-United States Free Trade Agreement (AUSFTA) entered into force on 1 January 2005. Over 97 per cent of Australia's non-agricultural exports to the United States (excluding textiles and clothing) are now duty free, and three quarters of agricultural tariff lines have been eliminated. Under AUSFTA, Australian companies also have access to the federal government procurement market in the United States (valued at over US$535 billion), and the government procurement markets of 31 US states. The trade and investment relationship has flourished under AUSFTA, with two-way trade growing from A$42 billion to over A$64 billion since it came into force.

Australia and the United States have a record of working together closely to further economic prosperity through free and open trade. Australia and the United States worked closely in establishing the G20, and work together in global and regional trade and economic fora, including the World Trade Organization (WTO) and the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum.

Invest in Australia

Australia is the world’s 13th largest economy. Australia’s highly skilled workforce, robust economy, trusted legal system and stable society make it an attractive place to invest. The stock of foreign investment in Australia exceeds $735 billion.

Five reasons to invest in Australia

  1. 27 years of uninterrupted annual economic growth: Australia's strong, diverse and growing economy adds up to more opportunitiesAustralia’s economy is underpinned by strong institutions, an exceptional services sector and an ability to respond to global change.
  2. World-class innovation: Australia supports world-class, globally significant research and development opportunities.
  3. World's fastest growing region:  With strong trade links, strategic location, a favorable time zone and a highly educated, multilingual workforce, Australia is uniquely positioned as a location to do business in the Indo-Pacific.
  4. Easy to run a business: Ranked in the global top five on the Index of Economic Freedom, Australia’s effective governance provides multinationals with a safe, secure business environment.
  5. Highly skilled workforce: Australia's multilingual workforce is among the most educated and diverse in the world.

Business Resources

United States of America country economic fact sheet [PDF] - Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

Trade and investment opportunities with Australia - The Australian Trade and Investment Commission (Austrade)

Australian Company Success Stories - The Australian Trade and Investment Commission (Austrade)