Prime Minister Tony Abbott met the US secretary of state at the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation Forum (APEC) and stated that he hoped Australia and the US would be able to secure a free trade deal this year.
As the ABC reports, Abbott added that there was still some work to be done if such a deal could be met in that time.
The meeting between Abbott and Secretary of State John Kerry took place on the last day of the summit. Apart from that meeting, the Prime Minister also held talks with the leaders of China, Singapore, Thailand, Mexico, and Canada.
Meanwhile, as Global Nation reports, APEC has seen something of a struggle between the US and China for trade dominance within the region.
John Kerry has lobbied for a mega free trade pact which would include 12 APEC nations but exclude China and Indonesia. And he is aiming for the pact, known as the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), to be signed by the end of this year.
“We need modern rules for a changing road, rules that keep pace with the speed of today’s markets,” Kerry said in a speech that touched on the TPP.
According to the US, the TPP would deal with complex changes to the 21st-century economy, such as how to police cloud computing and patents.
However, China and some developing nations involved in the TPP have said that it will set down trade rules that will favour the richest countries and most powerful firms.