United States Country profile

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The United States was Australia's 4th largest trading partner in 2017. The two parties signed a free trade agreement in 2004, which allows most Australian exports favourable entry into the US and encourages greater bilateral investment. Total trade (Exports + Imports) with the United States was A$55b in 2017.

 

Major Australian exports include beef, meat, aircraft/spacecraft parts and pharmaceutical products. Major imports from the US include motor vehicles, aircraft/spacecraft parts, medical instruments and telecom equipment and parts. There has been a significant increase in Australian-US trade within the aeronautical engineering sector in recent years—for example Ferra Engineering, which is an SME based in Queensland exports aerospace structures and sub-systems to the US.

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Student enrolments from the US are significant, comparable with Sri Lanka, Italy and the Philippines. Most of these enrolments are likely university students on exchange. US enrolments appear sensitive to movements in the currency; a stronger AUD has led to fewer enrolments, but the recent weakness over the last few years has spurred a minor recovery. Tourism is also a significant earner; the US is Australia’s third largest source of arrivals (780,000) after China (1,356,000) and New Zealand (1,359,000).

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Bilateral investment has trended higher over much of the last decade reaching A$1.6 trillion in 2017, close to Australia’s annual GDP. Australia’s total investment into the US was A$665b in 2016, with over A$127b from foreign direct investment.

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