Australia and the WTO
As a founding member of both the WTO in 1995 and its predecessor, the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade in 1947, Australia has a longstanding commitment to the multilateral trading system. The system provides the framework governing world trade. Members agree on legally binding rules that provide important certainty for their exporters. Members can use the WTO's dispute settlement system to uphold these rules.
Australia also works actively to maintain these rules through participation in WTO committees. The committees provide the opportunity to discuss trade issues amongst WTO Members. They also enhance transparency by requiring WTO Members to provide notification of new measures that could affect trade.
Australia is committed to opening markets through multilateral trade negotiations in the WTO. We are seeking market access for Australian exports across various sectors, including agriculture, industrial goods and services. Australia is also chairing negotiations between 17 WTO Members on an agreement to remove tariffs on a range of environmental goods, and is seeking accession to the WTO Agreement on Government Procurement. Australia also participated in negotiations to expand the products covered by the WTO Information Technology Agreement.
Australia was the seventh WTO Member to accept the WTO Agreement on Trade Facilitation. Once two-thirds of WTO Members accept the Agreement it will enter into force.