The agreement became an important political issue in the run-up to the 2004 elections. After a long period of negotiations under the leadership of Mark Vaile, Howard`s trade minister, the agreement was strongly supported by the Howard administration as a huge potential benefit to the Australian economy and essential to the continuation of the U.S.-Australia alliance. In addition, workers` groups expressed concern about the agreement. In a report to the USTR office, the Laboratory Advisory Committee (LAC) recommended that Congress reject the U.S.-Australia free trade agreement because they believed the agreement did not meet the negotiating objectives of Congress.  Draft text of the U.S.-Australia Free Trade Agreement (AUSFTA) This agreement also improves the prospects for Australian services, trade and investment, improves the regulatory and investment environment between the two countries and promotes business mobility. Latham reacted unexpectedly by subordinating laboratory support to the free trade agreement to an amendment that would protect PBS.  This effectively turned the situation around to Howard: if the government rejected the amendment as unnecessary, it opened up to assertions that it does not protect Australian interests; while he supported the amendment, he tacitly acknowledged that the initial terms of the agreement were insufficient. The bill was eventually amended and passed. The agreement requires the legal application of digital rights management systems, but an Australian legislative commission has issued a report indicating that this part of the treaty has a “serious error”: although the agreement provides for authorized exceptions allowing the use of devices to circumvent copyright, it also prohibits access to tools used to circumvent this type of copyright. The report speaks of an “unfortunate and inexcusable error”, a “monstrous error” and even a “mistake that borders on absurdity”. The Committee firmly believes that the government must find a solution to the error before implementing this part of the treaty.
 Austrade can help Australian companies become familiar with local market conditions and help develop export opportunities through a number of market and Australian services. The objective of the “Safeguard measures” section of the agreement is to define an agreed structure for the protection of serious negative effects on each country`s domestic industries during the transition period following the abolition of tariffs. Countries also agree to consider excluding the application of WTO safeguards on a global scale with respect to imports from the other country where such imports are not the source of the harm to domestic industry.