My commentary on the slides showing import/export data was—in summary—that the apparently poor performance of Australian exports to the USA in the first five years of the implementation of the FTA reflected
- an adverse movement in the $A/$US exchange rates;
- the dramatic impact of the drought on supply of crops and some livestock, and;
- higher prices in East Asian markets than in the USA for dairy and beef during this time.
Beef supply from Australia to the USA was affected, too, by the absence during this period of U.S. beef exports to Korea and Japan following the 2003 ‘outbreak’ (one cow) of BSE in the United States. This ensured both high prices and a unique supply opportunity for Australian beef in those markets.