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International Trade in Australia

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About This Category

International trade describes the transactions of goods and services between one or more different countries. A product being sold to another country is known as an export, while a product or service purchased from another nation is an import. International trade contributes to the globalization of the world’s economy, a market environment in which the supply and demand of goods (and thus the prices of these goods) are affected by global occurrences and market conditions. In many countries, international trade comprises a considerable portion of the nation’s gross domestic product (GDP).

The ability to exchange goods and services with foreign countries enables citizens to experience products they wouldn’t have otherwise been able to purchase domestically. If trade with other countries was not possible, citizens would be forced to rely on only those goods and services that could be produced domestically, and manufacturers would be limited to producing only what could be sold domestically. International trade creates a global playing field and stimulates competition within industries, as evidenced by the auto industry. Almost every type of product, service, and currency imaginable is available for exchange on the foreign market. Products traded internationally include clothing, food, energy supplies such as oil and natural gas, jewelry, precious gems and metals, steel, clothing, and products. The service market includes consulting, transportation, tourism, banking, investing, and legal services.

International trade is governed by international trade laws. Each country maintains its own legislation regarding trade with other nations. Countries also abide by treaties and trade agreements established with other trading partners. The World Trade Organization, founded in 1995 to regulate trade between foreign countries, provides a formal structure for the formation and negotiation of trade agreements between countries.

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