10.37 The Committee recommends that the Australian government continue to support the Doha round of multilateral trade negotiations, directly through the sixth WTO Ministerial Conference in Hong Kong. 10.14 In addition to the impetus they can give to trade liberalization, free trade agreements tend to be more ambitious than multilateral WTO agreements. They often concern issues of investment protection, public procurement and competition policy. The recent free trade agreement between Australia and the United States was negotiated on the condition that no major sector be excluded from the removal of tariffs.  It was also agreed that negotiations on the Australia-China Free Trade Agreement would cover all sectors and address the issue of investment flows.  On the other hand, multilateral negotiations are often limited to a particular product or sector. Even regional trade agreements generally have significant exceptions. For example, 480 goods were exempted during China`s negotiations with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).  10.33 The Committee also stresses that a free trade agreement between Australia and China must be pursued at the same time as the possibilities for multilateral trade liberalization within the WTO. The sixth WTO Ministerial Conference will be held in Hong Kong from 13-18 December 2005.  This will be the third ministerial conference in the framework of the “Doha Round” under multilateral trade negotiations. On September 26, 2018, Australia ratified the Multilateral Convention for the Implementation of Measures to Prevent Base Erosion and Profit Transfer (Multilateral Instrument) by Tabling the Ratification, Acceptance or Approval Instrument with the Paris Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.
The multilateral instrument came into force for Australia on January 1, 2019. The multilateral instrument is a multilateral treaty that allows legal systems to rapidly amend their bilateral tax treaties to implement measures to improve the fight against multinational tax evasion. These measures were developed as part of the OECD/G20 Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) project. Australia signed the multilateral instrument on June 7, 2017. In order for a bilateral tax agreement to be amended by the multilateral instrument, the two contracting parties must have: a single free trade agreement between Australia and China, if fully covered and if market access was as comprehensive or as unsealed as other bilateral agreements between the two countries, would put an end to the discrimination introduced by each country in the last free trade agreements against the other, which would reduce the cost of the Sino-Australian trade industry.  10.17 These arguments and the growing application of the provisions of Article XXIV of the GATT have been criticized for both economic and strategic reasons. The most obvious is that the volume of trade in a bilateral agreement that is less than that of a multilateral agreement proportionately reduces the economic benefits of free trade agreements. Trade Minister Vaile acknowledged that free trade agreements are the second best option: “There is no doubt… that if we could get a much better result from the multilateral system tomorrow, that would certainly be the best result. »  … Make sure our Asian trading partners do not damage our relationship with these economies and that we are also prepared to negotiate parallel trade agreements [regional trade agreements] with these countries.  Although Australia is not always as important as free trade agreements, it vigorously pursues its national interests in bilateral, regional and multilateral trade and investment, including the OECD, the G20 and APEC. The fundamental importance of the WTO to Australia is underlined by the fact that free trade rules in this area explicitly refer to and depend on WTO rules.
Australia is a strong supporter of respecting WTO rules with regard to free trade agreements