· Points out that test data and trade secrets submitted to a government for marketing authorization are protected from unfair commercial use for a period of five years for drugs and agrochemicals for a period of five years. It fills in the potential loopholes in these provisions. · The agreement is fully in line with the working objectives set by Congress in TPA. Work commitments are part of the basic text of the trade agreement. It was not until early 2001, after the election of George W. Bush in the United States and with John Howard in power in Australia, that he became an Australia-USA. The ATF has finally taken shape. In April 2001, President Bush expressed interest in a free trade agreement with Australia, provided that “everything is on the table.” In 2004, the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade commissioned a private consulting firm – the Centre for International Economics (CIE) – to model the economic impact of such an agreement. Negotiations on the Free Trade Agreement began in March 2003 and, after six rounds of negotiations in Canberra, Hawaii and Washington, D.C, the text was finally adopted in February 2004 and signed in May 2004 in Washington by Australian Trade Minister Mark Vaile and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Zoellick.
The agreement requires the legal application of digital rights management systems, but an Australian legislative commission has issued a report indicating that this part of the treaty has a “serious error”: although the agreement provides for authorized exceptions allowing the use of devices to circumvent copyright, it also prohibits access to tools used to circumvent this type of copyright. The report speaks of an “unfortunate and inexcusable error”, a “monstrous error” and even a “mistake that borders on absurdity”. The Committee firmly believes that the government must find a solution to the error before implementing this part of the treaty.  The agreement contains, among other things, rules for the settlement of disputes between members of the telecommunications industry in one country with members of the other country. The United States and Australia held the sixth meeting of the Joint Free Trade Committee between the United States and Australia on December 6, 2017 to verify the implementation of the agreement, including specific issues related to trade in goods and services and issues related to intellectual property and investment rights. Economic theory suggests that bilateral agreements such as the free trade agreement lead to the creation of trade between the parties directly concerned, but also to divert trade out of third countries and offset all the benefits. Bilateral agreements can also undermine multilateral agreements related to the World Trade Organization. Partly because of these factors, the estimates of benefits produced by the ICE and used by the government have been challenged by most economists who have engaged in Senate committees that have looked at the issue, some of whom have concluded that the agreement would reduce Australia`s economic well-being. Concern over the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme has led to speculation that the U.S.
side will make a strong commitment to repeal as part of a free trade agreement. The government has been criticized, particularly by The Australian Democrats and Greens, for not doing enough to protect the operations of the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme, which the government has vigorously disputed. Some scientists (such as Thomas Alured Faunce) have argued that the provisions of the agreement would lead to higher prices for PBS-based drugs. However, the text in question was limited to procedure and transparency and contained no provision that could influence the price, which ultimately did not. While the system is very effective at keeping many drug prices low, pharmaceutical companies in both the U.S. and Australia are cautious about operating the system, saying that higher drug prices are needed to finance research and development costs.