- About bilaterals.org
- Feb-2016: New ISDS platform launched
- Sep-2004: Launch announcement
- Feb-2015: Relaunch of bilaterals.org
- Mar-2013: Relaunch of bilaterals.org
- Jun-2009: Relaunch of bilaterals.org
- Dec-2008: An update from bilaterals.org and logo design contest announcement
- Dec-2006: bilaterals.org in Spanish & French
- Sep-2006: Update from bilaterals.org
- How to participate
- Key issues
- Texts of agreements
War support could win US contracts
War support could win US contracts
October 11, 2005
AUSTRALIA’S support of the US in Iraq could help local companies crack the huge US government contract market, a visiting American consultant says.
Robert Van Gorder, vice-president (consulting) of the Washington Management Group, is in Australia talking to local businesses about the opportunities available under the Australia-US free-trade agreement (FTA).
Under the FTA, Australian firms can for the first time directly tender for US government contracts. Last year those contracts were worth $US314 billion ($413 billion).
Mr Van Gorder said the market was highly competitive but Australia’s support for the US in the war in Iraq would help firms.
"It is very helpful, especially under this administration," he said. "Companies from France (which opposed the Iraq war) are still having trouble.
"So in this case, if you’re supportive they will support you, they will make sure they help you along."
Before the introduction of the FTA, which came into operation this year, just 32 Australian firms had US government contracts worth a combined $US14 million ($18 million).
But Mr Van Gorder said interest would grow now that the FTA was in place, and Australian firms started to get an idea of the opportunities in the US.
Already, one Australian firm was supplying meals to US marines.
Mr Van Gorder said that with competition fierce in the US contract sector, Australian firms would initially have to take small steps.
"You have to be committed, and you have to keep working to build yourself," he said.
"It’s like any new market and that means getting yourself known, and once that happens, then the new contracts can flow."
Some of the key contract areas include the services sector, IT, research and development and management support. Other areas where major contracts are available include military components.
Andrew Hudson, a partner in Australian trading firm Hunt and Hunt, said that in the first months of the FTA’s implementation, most companies had focused on cuts in tariffs.
But in recent months there had been a marked increase in interest in areas such as government procurement as Australian businesses realised the opportunities in the US.
"There’s been a real awakening of the opportunities, and what we’re trying to do here is give firms some help in understanding how to work their way through it," he said.
Mr Van Gorder said Australian firms should consider tendering for contracts that may not grab the direct attention of competitors, such as military base maintenance and service provision in South-East Asia.
News from the movements
25-Aug-2016 RTSome 2,000 members of the American Postal Workers Union have gathered in Miami where they are officially opposing the Trans-Pacific Partnership.
24-Aug-2016 Deutsche WelleHundreds of thousands of protesters are expected to take to the streets in several German cities to rally against plans to move forward with two key international trade agreements - one year after a similar protest managed to attract similar numbers.
23-Aug-2016 APRNNeither the TPP nor the RCEP, neither the US nor China and their corporations will ever address the long-standing people’s aspiration for an international trading system that responds to their needs.
23-Aug-2016 ScoopCivil society groups, trade unions, church groups, environmentalists, gender activists and many more are calling for Ministers to make no decision on PACER-Plus — a free trade agreement between Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific Islands — until there has been a proper social impact assessment and mandate from the Pacific people who are most likely to be affected.
22-Aug-2016 Radio New ZealandA meeting on Pacific labour mobility under the PACER Plus trade deal has a glaring omission – the voices of organised labour.
Avec de nouveaux accords commerciaux, le vol organisé par les multinationales est légalisé et les semences paysannes deviennent illégalesDe nouveaux accords de libre-échange légalisent le vol organisé par les grandes entreprises et mettent en péril la possibilité pour les agriculteurs de conserver, produire et échanger des semences.
22-Aug-2016 El PaísEl secretario de Relaciones Internacionales del Pit-Cnt, Fernando Gambera, afirmó tras participar del XVI Foro Social Mundial realizado en Montreal (Canadá) que los Tratado de Libre Comercio (TLC) son una preocupación para todas las centrales sindicales porque "apuntan a degradar las conquistas de los trabajadores".
22-Aug-2016 Premium TimesSocial Action has asked the federal government to not to sign the Economic Partnership Agreement with the European Union. Ghana and Ivory Coast have also resisted the EPA
bilaterals.org is a collaborative space to share information and support movements struggling against bilateral trade and investment deals which serve corporations, not people. Multilingual. Global. No one owns it. Open publishing. Get involved.