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Environment and Labour

  • The Parties have agreed not to fail to enforce their own
    environmental and labour laws in a manner affecting trade
    between the Parties.
  • Both Parties retain the right to establish their own
    domestic environmental and labour standards, and to adapt or
    modify their legislation.


Under US trade promotion authority, environment and labour
are considered non-commercial issues. The obligations of
the Parties therefore differ in significant respects to other
issues treated in AUSFTA.

The key obligation of each Party is to not fail to enforce
effectively its own environmental and labour laws, through a
sustained or recurring course of action, in a manner affecting
trade between the Parties. These are the only provisions
of the environment and labour chapters to which dispute
settlement provisions in the FTA apply.

The Parties recognise that each Party retains the right to
exercise discretion with respect to investigatory,
prosecutorial, regulatory and compliance matters, and to make
decisions regarding the allocation of resources to enforcement
with respect to other environmental matters determined to have
higher priorities.

The agreed text recognises the importance and value of
cooperation and consultation on environmental and labour

No changes to Australian environment or labour laws or
regulations were required.

Last Updated: 31 December 2012
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