Publication 3722 of the International Trade Commission: This publication contains the HTSUS General Note 28 and a list of goods that have become duty-free upon entry into force, as well as the exit schedule for goods that, over time, become duty-free. In the year following the agreement, Australian exports to the United States declined, while U.S. exports to Australia increased. This was followed by the International Monetary Fund`s prediction that the Australia-U.S. free trade agreement would slightly reduce the Australian economy due to the loss of trade with other countries. The IMF has estimated $US an additional US$5.25 billion a year to Australia under the free trade agreement, but only $US 2.97 billion in additional Australian exports to the United States each year.  It is not clear, however, that the deterioration of Australia`s trade deficit with the United States can be attributed solely to the free trade agreement. This could be a deferred effect of the appreciation of the Australian dollar against the U.S. dollar between 2000 and 2003. Following the signing of the free trade agreement, there was initial talk that the U.S. agricultural sector would put pressure on the agreement, fearing that it would interfere with the government`s agricultural subsidy program. However, the agreement with deadlines for importing Australian agricultural products, such as beef and sugar cane, has allayed concerns in the US agricultural market (while many Australian producers were very frustrated). The Australian government did not have a majority in the Senate and therefore needed the support of the opposition Labor Party, the Greens, the Democrats or independent senators to get ratification.
The government put pressure on Labor Party chairman Mark Latham to gain opposition support for the agreement (knowing that Latham, among many Labour members, saw the free trade agreement as beneficial). The issue had divided the party, particularly the left-wing group argued that labour should reject the deal. According to the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, the trade imbalance between the United States and Australia increased significantly in 2007. The United States has become Australia`s largest source of imports, with more than AUD 31 billion in goods and services. However, Australia`s exports to the United States reached only $15.8 billion.  The real benefits of the agreement are not clear. According to Shiro Armstrong, of crawford School of Public Policy at the Australian National University, more than 10 years of data recording by the Productivity Commission concluded that Australia and the United States lost trade with the rest of the world – that there was trade diversion – because of THE AUSFTA after controlling country-specific factors. Estimates also indicate that trade between Australia and the United States as part of the implementation of the AUSFTA has declined, even after country-specific factors have been monitored.  Shiro Armstrong also concludes that Australia and the United States have reduced their trade with the rest of the world by $53 billion and are worse off than they would have been without the agreement.  On November 13, 2002, the U.S.
Trade Representative informed the U.S. Congress of his intention to negotiate a free trade agreement with Australia. Negotiations began in March 2003 and were reached by agreement on 8 February 2004. On February 13, 2004, the President announced to Congress his intention to join the U.S.-Australia Free Trade Agreement. The draft agreements were presented on 3 March 2004. The U.S.-Australia Free Trade Agreement was signed on May 18, 2004. This section recognizes the rights and obligations of Australia and the United States to each other in addressing trade barriers. These rights and obligations have been defined in the WTO Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade, which deals, among other things, with standards, rules and compliance assessment.