Discusses key economic indicators and trade statistics, which countries are dominant in the market, and other issues that affect trade.
U.S. goods exports to Australia in 2021: US$26.4 billion1
Australia’s rank as a U.S. export market in 2021: 16th largest1
In 2021, Australia’s GDP per capita was US$60,575, the ninth highest among OECD economies2
Australia–U.S. Free Trade Agreement (AUSFTA) has significantly stimulated U.S.-Australian trade and investment since its entry into force in 2005.
1 Source: TradeStats ExpressTM, International Trade Administration
2 Source: OECD data from https://www.oecd.org/
In 2021, U.S. exports of goods to Australia were US$26.4 billion, up from US$23.4 billion recorded in 2020. Imports from Australia were US$12.5 billion, down from US$14.4 billion in 2021. For trade in goods, America’s trade surplus with Australia in 2021 was US$14.0 billion, representing an increase of 56% on the previous year. The trade surplus with Australia remains one of the largest the United States has with any country. In 2020 Australia experienced its first recession in nearly 30 years, but from the second half of 2020 and into 2022 the country has seen continued positive growth.
With few barriers to entry, a familiar legal and corporate framework, sophisticated consumer and industrial sectors, and a straightforward, English-speaking business culture, Australia remains an important and receptive market for American goods and services.
Australia welcomes foreign investment as an essential contributor to economic growth and productivity. The United States is Australia’s largest foreign investor with a stock of investment at the end of 2020 valued at US$737 billion. Around 1,400 American companies operate in Australia in a wide variety of sectors. U.S. direct investment in Australia is concentrated in mining, oil and gas, finance and insurance, and manufacturing.
Source for investment statistics: Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade
Since coming into force on January 1, 2005, the AUSFTA has reduced investment thresholds, provided greater intellectual property protection, and fostered greater two-way trade and investment. Because of the AUSFTA, over 99% of U.S. exports now enter Australia duty-free.
Australia has a well-established legal system for litigation and arbitration. The country is a world leader in the development and provision of dispute resolution mechanisms and is a signatory to all the major international dispute resolution conventions. Australia has an AAA international credit rating with a well-developed, sophisticated financial market, regulated in accordance with international norms. Australia’s four leading banks are highly ranked internationally in terms of financial security and liquidity.
Australia has a large services sector and is a world leader in mineral and LNG extraction and food production. Australia’s abundant and diverse resources attract high levels of foreign investment, and include extensive reserves of coal, iron ore, copper, gold, natural gas, uranium, and renewable energy sources.