· Applies the “first-in-right” principle to trademarks and geographical indications, so that the first person who acquires a right in a trademark or geographical indication is the person who has the right to use it. It was not until early 2001, after the election of George W. Bush in the United States and with John Howard in power in Australia, that an Australian-USA – the FTA finally took shape. In April 2001, President Bush expressed interest in a free trade agreement with Australia, provided “everything is on the table.” In 2004, the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade commissioned a private consulting firm – the Centre for International Economics (CIE) – to model the economic impact of such an agreement. Negotiations on the free trade agreement began in March 2003 and, after six rounds of negotiations in Canberra, Hawaii and Washington, D.C., the text was finally adopted in February 2004 and signed by Australian Trade Minister Mark Vaile and the United States. Robert Zoellick, Trade Representative in Washington, D.C., May 2004. The parties agreed to minimise obstacles to the application of the other`s competition and consumer protection policy. Australia agreed that its governments would not provide any competitive advantage to government enterprises at all levels simply because they are state-owned. This provision is in line with the existing provisions of Australia`s national competition policy · Emphasis is placed on promoting compliance through consultations, joint action plans and trade-enhancing remedies. Concern over the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme has sparked speculation that the United States would make a firm commitment to repeal it as part of a free trade agreement. The government has been criticized, particularly by Australian Democrats and Greens, for not doing enough to keep the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme running, accusations the government has vigorously rejected.
Some academics (such as Thomas Alured Faunce) have claimed that the provisions of the agreement would lead to an increase in the price of PBS drugs. However, the relevant text was effectively limited to the issue of process and transparency and did not contain any provisions that might affect the price, which ultimately did not turn out to be the case. · Guarantees a longer term of protection (z.B. Author`s lifetime plus seventy years) for copyrighted works, including phonograms, in line with emerging international trends. A coalition of unions and other groups opposed the deal because it would create problems similar to those of NAFTA. [indicate] In Australia, on 13 August 2004, the Senate reluctantly passed the Free Trade Agreement Implementing Act on 13 August 2004. After some delay, the United States Government accepted the change in Australian legislation as compatible with the implementation of the agreement. [Citation required] Subject to some exceptions and the non-participation of some U.S.
states, the agreement required each party to accord treatment no less favourable to the other country when acquiring governments and public authorities than the most favourable treatment accorded to domestic goods, services and suppliers. · Both sides undertake to achieve a high level of environmental protection and not to weaken or reduce environmental legislation in order to attract trade and investment. The section shall also contain supporting documents and verifications attesting that the goods traded actually originate in the country of export within the meaning of the Agreement. . . .