Australia-EU Free Trade Agreement: Status and Opportunities – A Report

Powell Tate Australia and Weber Shandwick Brussels have published a report looking at the status, opportunities and issues in the Australia-EU Free Trade Agreement currently under negotiation between Canberra and Brussels.

The report, EU-Australia FTA Negotiations: Status and Opportunities, was prepared to help Australian and EU companies understand the opportunities and issues in the negotiations, and potential to influence them. Powell Tate Australia and Weber Shandwick Brussels are experienced in government advocacy in their respective markets including in relation to international trade and investment issues.

Among the themes touched on in the report are the FTA’s potential to anchor EU companies in the Asia-Pacific region, its potential for countering the rising tide of global protectionism, support for the rules-based trading system, the potential for Australia-EU regulatory cooperation, and the broader economic and geopolitical issues behind the need for the agreement.

The report also looks at issues that could prove stumbling blocks during the negotiations, including Geographical Indicators which could impact some Australian wines and cheeses, access for Australian beef to the EU, treatment of Genetically Modified Organisms, services (financial services in particular in a post-Brexit deal), and how Australia’s Luxury Car Tax is applied to cars from the EU.

Investment is unlikely to be included in the deal due to the need for each member state of the EU to ratify any agreement on investment. It is felt the inclusion of investment could hold up the deal. Instead investment is likely to be dealt with separately at a later stage.

The report also outlines the timetable for the negotiations and looks at prospects for companies to engage with the Australian Government in Canberra and with the EU Commission in Brussels if they wish to put forward their viewpoints on any matters of interest in the negotiations. Details on how to contact our offices in Brussels and Sydney are included in the report. The full report can be downloaded here.

Headquartered in Washington DC, Powell Tate is a specialist public affairs and government relations firm, owned by Weber Shandwick. Weber Shandwick is a leading global communications and engagement firm in 78 cities with a network extending to 129 cities around the world.