Media release from the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

D2 / 9 March 2004

CIE to do Australia-US FTA Economic Analysis

The Centre for International Economics (CIE) has been selected by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade to carry out economic modelling and analytical work to assess the impact of the Australia-US Free Trade Agreement (AUSFTA).

The decision follows a tender process which was set in train on 25 February 2004, and was made by the Department after a unanimous recommendation by a Departmental Tender Board consisting of senior officials. The choice of the CIE reflects the proven high quality of its work, its expertise in economic modelling and the competitive pricing of its tender.

The CIE has been asked to provide its final report by 8 April 2004, in order to assist broad public discussion of the merits of the agreement and to allow early consideration of it by the Joint Standing Committee on Treaties.

The terms of reference for the study are wide-ranging. Its coverage includes: the implications of AUSFTA for output and economic welfare over time; the impact on employment, the States and Territories of Australia and the environment; and rules of origin, government procurement and intellectual property issues. The study will include case studies on agriculture, automobiles and textiles and clothing. It will also analyse the effect of other countries entering free trade agreements with the US without Australia doing so.

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