US Coalition of Service Industries Press Release
May 18, 2004
US-Australia FTA to Open New Opportunities for US Service Sector
Coalition of Service Industries Calls for
Congressional Approval of Trade Pact
(Washington, DC) The Coalition of Service Industries (CSI) today announced its strong support for the US-Australia Free Trade Agreement (FTA), noting that the agreement will open up new opportunities for US suppliers in a host of service industries. The FTA includes new commitments to liberalize trade in audio-visual services, express delivery services, telecommunications, insurance and other financial services, computer and related services, professional services, and other key sectors.
Cross-border trade in services between the United States and Australia totaled $8.1 billion in 2002, with the US enjoying a surplus of $2.3 billion. The sales of Australia-based affiliates of US companies were even larger, at $14.7 billion in 2001.
This agreement presents new opportunities for US services companies, and deserves swift passage by the Congress,” said Norman Sorensen, Chairman of CSI. Sorensen said that the FTA “adopts the most far-reaching approach to services liberalization - the so-called ‘negative list’ approach.” He explained that, “under a negative list approach, all services sectors in Australia will be open to US participation unless they are specifically listed as an exception.”
Services continue to be the engine of job creation in the United States, and opening up foreign markets to US suppliers is a high priority,” Sorensen added, noting that 1.1 million US service sector jobs were created between April 2003 - April 2004. US services jobs pay an average of $45,410.
Services accounted for 77% of US private sector GDP in 2002, and 80% of US private sector employment. Between 1993 and 2003, services added 17 million new US jobs.
CSI is the leading business organization dedicated to reducing barriers to U.S. services exports and mobilizing support for domestic U.S. policies, including tax policies, which enhance the global competitiveness of its members. CSI was formed in 1982 to ensure that U.S. trade in services would become a central goal of U.S. trade policy and trade negotiations. It played a major role in the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS) and in the advocacy effort leading to the 1997 World Trade Organization (WTO) Basic Telecommunications and Financial Services Agreements. CSI’s knowledge of the process of services trade negotiations, its ties to the WTO and its network of relationships with governments and industry in other countries are unmatched. For a complete list of CSI members, visit our website at www.uscsi.org.