Free Trade and Protection

Trade Agreements and Organisations

What are Free Trade Agreements?

Free trade agreements are agreements between two or more countries that involve mutual reduction or elimination of barriers to trade between member countries.


Bilateral Trade Agreements

Bilateral trade agreements are agreements between two countries. Australia has several bilateral trade agreements such as:


Multilateral Trade Agreements

Multilateral trade agreements are agreements between three or more countries. Australia has several multilateral trade agreements such as:

  • AANZFTA - ASEAN-Australia and New Zealand Free Trade Agreement: ASEAN stands for the Association of South East Asian Nations and includes the nations of Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Burma and Laos.

  • Transpacific Partnership (TPP) - a free trade agreement between Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Peru, New Zealand, Singapore, the United States and Vietnam.

  • Australian and the European Union Free Trade Agreement - Still under negotiation, the free trade agreement promises reduction of barriers to trade between Australia and the 28 members of the European Union


Trade Organisations


World Trade Organisation (WTO)

The World Trade Organisation is a global organisation with 160 members that account for 97% trade, whose main role is the promotion and liberalisation of world trade by lowering trade barriers and discounting unfair trade practices amongst member countries. 
The WTO replaced the GATT (General Agreement on Tariff and Trade) in 1995.

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