Free trade

Free trade agreements

Briefing paper

Lessons from the COVID-19 pandemic: a renewed agenda for the Free Trade Area of the Asia-Pacific (FTAAP)

This policy brief explores some of the most pressing challenges affecting trade since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic and provides policy recommendations to overcome them.
Briefing paper

The trade implications of Mr Biden for New Zealand

This paper discusses the current and likely future trade relationship between New Zealand and the USA.
Discussion paper

New Zealand’s place in the world

This discussion paper highlights how some of the long-standing memes, which have dominated the local discourse no longer apply in a post-COVID world. In particular, New Zealand’s openness to external trade and foreign investment, and the role of migration in driving population growth have all...

Pivot: diversifying Australia's trade and investment profile

This inquiry report aim to position Australia so it emerges from the COVID-19 pandemic in a more secure, stable, and profitable position than before. The recommendations have been informed by a range of stakeholders, who provided evidence on the opportunities and challenges related to diversification.
Fact sheet

Overview: the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP)

The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) is a regional free trade agreement that will complement and build upon Australia’s existing free trade agreements with 14 other Indo-Pacific countries. This resources provides an overview of what has been agreed to.

Economic coercion: boycotts and sanctions—preferred weapons of war

This report argues that the growing use of economic coercion by both China and the United States is an emerging risk for business and undermines the world trading system. The report traces the growing use of trade as an economic weapon, particularly over the last...

Stocktake of free trade, competitiveness and a global world: how trade agreements are shaping agriculture

This paper explores how Australia's agricultural export performance over the past 15 years has been inextricably linked to the proliferation of free trade agreements (FTAs).
Policy report

A policy roadmap for U.S.-UK digital trade

The United States and the United Kingdom are the world’s leading exporters of digitally-delivered services, and much of their trade is with each other. This report offers a policy roadmap for a future digital trade agenda, tailored to two like-minded technology heavyweights who are massive...
Discussion paper

Emerging divisions on trade after Brexit

Brexit has exposed international trade – normally a policy area delegated to experts – to party politics, media scrutiny and public opinion. This report identifies major divisions and areas of uncertainty in public attitudes to trade.


At this time of growing global economic uncertainty and mounting trade tensions, countries like Australia needed to stand up for the principle of free trade and shore up the foundations of the global trading system.

A new platform for deepening economic ties: the Indonesia-Australia Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement

The Indonesia-Australia Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (IA-CEPA) is a major effort by both governments to increase trade and investment between the two countries. This report examines what IA-CEPA delivers on the traditional trade agenda for both countries in terms of tariff reductions, addressing non-tariff measures...
Journal article

Public health over private wealth: rebalancing public and private interests in international trade and investment agreements

The growing number of pathways for market actors to exert undue infuence over national and international regulatory environments provided by free trade agreements has given many cause to be concerned. This article presents several avenues for public health scholars, advocates and practitioners to explore to...

Does the United States renegotiate its trade agreements after they are signed?

This CSIS review examines recent trade agreements the United States entered into after the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), and reveals that a number of them were modified after signing.

Democracy promotion: ANZUS and the Free and Open Indo-Pacific strategy

This paper argues that democracy promotion ought to be an essential component of the Free and Open Indo-Pacific strategy — a strategy that is being promoted by the United States, Australia, Japan and, increasingly, India, albeit with national differences in approaches and emphasis.

Trade and assistance review 2017-18

This review contains the Productivity Commission's latest quantitative estimates of Australian government assistance to industry. This year's review also provides information on tax concessions and budgetary outlays that may be construed as assistance. A theme chapter discusses the future of the world trading system.
Briefing paper

Copyright provisions in trade deals: a bird’s-eye view

The purpose of this policy brief is to identify global trends created by the aggregate number of preferential trade agreements (PTAs) with copyright provisions, and to identify their key features.

The end of Chimerica: the passing of global economic consensus and the rise of US-China strategic technological competition

Chinese economic and trade malpractices over a long period of time are having profound distorting effects on the global economic system and US dissatisfaction is deepening and irreversible. This publication argues Australia has been slow or else reluctant to accept that the previous global economic...

Moving beyond rhetoric: understanding the practical consequence of a Canada-China Free Trade Agreement

This paper makes the case that Canadian policy-makers may not fully appreciate the pitfalls of pursuing free trade with China.

From little things big things grow: supporting Australian SMEs go global

This report urges the Australian government to continue including specific small and medium enterprises (SMEs) chapters in trade agreements, as well as introducing a focus on e-commerce in future free trade agreements.

Indonesia-Australia Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (IA-CEPA): key outcomes for Australia

Australia and Indonesia announced the substantive conclusion of negotiations on the Indonesia -Australia Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (IA-CEPA) on 31 August 2018.

Asian economic integration in an era of global uncertainty

This volume describes the state of play in Asian economic integration but also looks forward to the region’s future and the role it might play in defending the global system that has underwritten its historic rise.
Policy report

The benefits of trade

A brief report outlining the benefits of trade and trade liberalisation for New Zealanders.

Australia, the European Union and the new trade agenda

This collection brings together diverse and deeply practical contributions to the forthcoming policy debate on the Australia–EU Free Trade Agreement, highlighting potential points of difficulty and possible gains from the agreement.

Why Trump is right, and wrong, about killing off the TPP

President-elect Donald Trump is right: The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is a damaging deal and deserves to be killed off. But he tells a half truth about why the trade accord among a dozen Pacific Rim nations is a bad deal. In Trump’s view, trade agreements...

The Renminbi: from the people's money to a global currency - a practical introduction to conducting cross-border trade and investment with China

The rise of China as a global economic powerhouse has been well documented. Perhaps less well known has been the emergence of China’s currency, the Renminbi (RMB), as one of the world’s truly global currencies. Use of the Renminbi was limited even ten years ago...