How the US can get visa waiver programs in place for Canada, Mexico, Australia, and New Zealand, Bloomberg

The US could eventually be in the position to get a visa waiver for Canadian, Mexican and Australian citizens, the countries’ foreign ministers said Thursday in a joint statement.

The US and Australia signed the agreements to ease visa requirements for people from these three countries, a move aimed at boosting the flow of goods and services to the US.

Australia, which is home to over 10 million residents and one-fifth of the world’s population, could be in position to begin accepting citizens from the three countries within a year, the ministers said.

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has said the visa waiver is necessary for trade and investment, while Canada’s foreign minister says it is a way to attract more skilled workers.

The deal has been a long time coming, with Canada and Australia both having previously rejected the idea.

Canada and Mexico both have strong trade ties with the United States, which together have an estimated $1.5 trillion in annual trade.

In September, the two countries signed a deal that would allow citizens from Australia, Canada and Mexico to enter the US without visas, an effort to help boost US exports and boost bilateral trade.