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Services

  • Access to US markets has been guaranteed for Australian
    service suppliers such as providers of professional,
    business, education, environmental, financial and transport
    services
  • A framework to promote mutual recognition of professional
    services has been developed – leading to new practise
    rights for Australian lawyers in Delaware and engineers in
    Texas.

Summary

The services chapter of the agreement offers strong legal
protections to underpin services trade and Australian
investment in the United States - principally through a US
commitment to not discriminate, and strong provisions on the
transparency and development of regulations relevant to
services trade.

If, for example, a law is passed in the United States to
treat American education or legal service providers more
favourably than foreign service providers, Australian companies
would have the right to the same treatment as US companies.

AUSFTA therefore ensures that Australian companies can
compete on equal terms with US companies in most services
sectors in the biggest services economy in the world.
The Agreement contains commitments ensuring a liberal services
trade environment that go beyond the commitments Australia
enjoys in the WTO in a wide range of sectors, including
educational, financial and professional services. It
also ensures the transparency of regulations in this area, and
will automatically make future unilateral liberalisation of
many measures a binding part of the Agreement.

Importantly, the services chapter established the Working
Group on Professional Services to support profession-led
initiatives to achieve the mutual recognition of professional
qualifications and registration.

Last Updated: 31 December 2012
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