The Department of Innovation supports the internationalisation of Australian industry, encourages Australia's multilateral and bilateral industry and trade cooperation, and manages the Commonwealth's relationships with standards and conformity assessment bodies.
Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) are an important aspect of the Australian Government’s integrated trade, industry and innovation strategies. FTAs are targeted trade treaties between two or more countries, which seek to remove or reduce tariff and non-tariff barriers between the parties. Through FTAs, Australian companies gain access to broader international markets and Australian markets are opened up to greater competition.
As part of a whole-of-government approach, the Department of Innovation plays a key role in the negotiation and the ongoing administration of FTAs. The department does this by advising on issues as varied as tariffs, rules of origin, services, investment, trade remedies and technical and product standards.
The department provides policy advice on, and administration of, the Australian Government's interface with key technical infrastructure bodies including Standards Australia and the National Association of Testing Authorities via separate Memoranda of Understanding (MOUs). In addition to this, it represents Australia in relation to standards and conformance aspects of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) and free trade negotiations. The department also administers a number of mutual recognition agreements and arrangements.
Strengthening Australia's Anti-dumping system
The department is responsible for the industry policy aspects of Australia’s anti-dumping and countervailing system. The anti-dumping and countervailing system provides Australian manufacturers with the ability to apply for anti-dumping or countervailing duties where they have experienced injury from dumped and subsidised goods being imported to Australia.
Recent reforms to improve the system include those announced in the June 2011 Streamlining Australia’s anti-dumping system policy document and the range of reforms announced in the December 2012 interim response to the Prime Minister’s Taskforce on Manufacturing.