Businesses have the option of choosing to trade with a partner under a new free trade agreement or the most common WTO negotiating terms. There are therefore no net costs for companies that do not wish to act under a new free trade agreement. Below are two main areas where the choice of trade under a free trade agreement has the potential to increase operating management costs. Many views have been expressed with regard to public procurement. While some interviewees were in favour of opening up central and sub-national public procurement to foreign bidders, others were in favour of the UK authorities, which give priority to local suppliers. Many interviewees stressed the need for high standards of public procurement and transparent, fair and stable rules, with sufficient access to accurate information. Comments on public services, including the NHS (which are proving to be a high priority topic for all respondents), have been taken into account in more detail in the `Services` section of this document. It should be noted that the term “government procurement” was used in the consultation, but the term “government procurement” is more often used in the international business context and is therefore used. This section provides an overview of labour protection measures in place in the UK and Australia and describes the potential impact of a free trade agreement on labour standards.

Although it is not possible to assess the exact impact of an agreement on labour issues before the conclusion of the FTA negotiations, Australia maintains high labour standards and, therefore, additional imports from Australia resulting from a free trade agreement should be produced in accordance with these standards. Nor is a uk-Australia free trade agreement expected to have an impact on UK legislation in other areas related to UK labour issues. In view of the above restrictions, the results should not be interpreted as a comprehensive assessment of the impact of the Agreement on the environment. A free trade agreement is an international agreement aimed at increasing trade and investment between its signatories by removing or reducing tariffs, NTDs and regulatory restrictions on services that prohibit, eliminate or reduce investment and trade between partner countries. [footnote 30] The UK is Australia`s seventh largest trading partner, with mutual trade in goods and services worth $30.3 billion in 2018-19. . . .