Certain Aspects of the Treaty-Making Process in Australia
Treaties strengthen commercial ties between nations, improve market access through the reduction and removal of tariffs and address a multitude of other trade issues including intellectual property, standards, investments and government procurement.
In this submission, the ECA made several recommendations to increase the active involvement and participation of key stakeholders throughout the treaty-making process, notably small and medium enterprises (SMEs) involved in international trade.
Greater engagement with SMEs during the negotiation stage of trade agreements serves to strengthen the utilisation and participation rates of trade treaties.
SMEs should be a key consideration for Government bodies who manage and have oversight over the process. Especially as they represent 87% of all exporting businesses.
Increasing the scope and range of voices included in the negotiation process of treaties will enrich the treaties and also generate an enhanced understanding of the treaty agenda, the benefits of treaties, the dates of adoption of treaties and success stories of Australian traders.