The objective of the „Safeguard measures“ section of the agreement is to define an agreed structure for the protection of serious negative effects on each country`s domestic industries during the transition period following the abolition of tariffs. Countries also agree to consider excluding the application of WTO safeguards on a global scale with respect to imports from the other country where such imports are not the source of the harm to domestic industry. The chapter also sets out definitions that will be used throughout the agreement to ensure consistency. Annual trade in Australian goods and services in two directions is about $28 billion, and the United States has a $9 billion trade surplus with Australia. Australia is the 9th largest U.S. market for goods exports- The European Union is considered the only export destination. · All U.S. agricultural exports to Australia, totalling more than $400 million, will have immediate duty-free access. · The free trade agreement is sensitive to concerns expressed by some members of Congress and some U.S. agricultural sectors, and the agreement uses tariff quotas to address these concerns.
Chapter 19 raises concerns that a relaxation of environmental legislation would allow the parties to obtain commercial benefits. On July 15, both houses of the U.S. Congress strongly supported the free trade agreement. The agreement was also supported by Democratic Party presidential candidate John Kerry. On May 18, 2004, the Minister of Commerce signed the Australia-U.S. Free Trade Agreement (AUSFTA) with the United States. Under THE AUSFTA, products originating under AUSFTA`s rules of origin may enter Australia at preferential rates. The AUSFTA also allows Australian goods to enter customs in the United States. · Both sides reaffirm their obligations as members of the International Labour Organization and strive to ensure that their national laws provide for labour standards consistent with internationally recognized labour principles. The agreement makes it clear that it is inappropriate to weaken or reduce occupational health and safety at the national level in order to promote trade or investment between the parties. · The „first-in-time, first-in-Right“ principle applies to trademarks and geographical indications, so that the first person acquiring a right to a trademark or geographical indication is the person who has the right to use it.
· More than 99% of U.S. exports of industrial products to Australia will be duty-free as soon as the agreement comes into force. Manufactured goods currently account for 93% of total U.S. goods exports to Australia. The agreement requires the legal application of digital rights management systems, but an Australian legislative commission has issued a report indicating that this part of the treaty has a „serious error“: although the agreement provides for authorized exceptions allowing the use of devices to circumvent copyright, it also prohibits access to tools used to circumvent this type of copyright. The report speaks of an „unfortunate and inexcusable error“, a „monstrous error“ and even a „mistake that borders on absurdity“. The Committee firmly believes that the government must find a solution to the error before implementing this part of the treaty.  While the system is very effective at keeping many drug prices low, pharmaceutical companies in both the United States and Australia are cautious about operating the system, saying that higher drug prices are needed to finance research and development costs. U.S.
pharmaceutical companies claim that Australians, when they ingest low-cost drugs, are essentially free of the cost of research conducted in the United States Subject to certain exceptions and non-participation of some U.S. states, each party demanded that chaq