WASHINGTON, D.C. – By a 314-109 vote, the U.S. House of Representatives overwhelmingly approved H.R. 4759 to implement the U.S.-Australia free trade agreement (FTA) on Wednesday. The bill now awaits Senate approval, before heading to the President\’s desk for official enactment.

Australia is the United States \’ 19th-largest trading partner with nearly $20 billion traded between the two nations annually. The agreement will benefit U.S. and Australian consumers, workers and their employers alike. More than 99 percent of industrial goods in both the United States and Australia will become duty-free immediately upon its ratification.

"This is another step toward a truly free and open market," sad taxpayer advocate Grover Norquist, President of Americans for Tax Reform. "Australians and Americans alike will look forward to competing in a market free from protectionist dictators."

The FTA also provides excellent market access for services and most agricultural products, as well as setting high standards in areas such as e-commerce and intellectual property rights. Soon after the act was passed in the House on Wednesday, July 14, Robert B. Zoellick, U.S. Trade Representative, stated that this agreement is the most significant immediate reduction of industrial tariffs ever achieved in a U.S. free trade agreement.

Americans for Tax Reform applauds the efforts of the United States House and calls on the Senate to quickly pass this legislation so that all parties may begin to realize its benefits.