David Crook, consul general of Australia and senior trade commissioner, told GlobalAtlanta that he thinks his country’s bilateral trade agreement with the United States will bring additional Australian investment into the U.S.
“Australia already is the eighth largest investor in the U.S. and the agreement places our U.S. relations more in the minds of Australian investors,” he said. Australia already has invested more than $24 billion in the U.S.
Mr. Crook also predicted that the agreement with the U.S. would be adopted by August before he is reassigned to another post. The agreement that was signed in February requires approval by the U.S. Congress and is subject to a vote by the Australian Parliament.
The agreement is to provide benefits for exporters of U.S. manufacturers and agricultural goods such as soybeans and oilseeds products. Australia’s trade with the U.S. also is expected to benefit including both manufactured and agricultural products.
But Mr. Crook said that the benefits to Australian professional service providers in the U.S. have not been as widely recognized. The agreement sets out a legal framework to assist service industries conduct business in each other’s countries including providers of architectural, business, engineering, environmental, and financial services.
American sugar producers have lobbied successfully against allowing Australian sugar to enter the U.S., but this controversy should not derail the agreement, he said.
Mr. Crook may be reached by email at email@example.com