Trade Liberalization (June 2006)
The United States is the world’s greatest trading nation, exporting more than one and a quarter trillion dollars in goods and services in 2005. Trade accounts for one-quarter of the U.S. economy. Exports have helped contribute to the overall prosperity of the U.S. economy and have contributed to an increase in the real per capital income of Americans. Trade supports millions of jobs in the United States. More than 12 million jobs are supported by exports, an increase of almost 40% since 1990. These jobs pay 10-15% higher than the average wage. Exporters are not just the big multinationals; sixty-five percent of all U.S. exporters are businesses with fewer than 20 employees.
Global trade liberalization is important for the U.S. economy and for U.S. businesses. Trade liberalization levels the playing field, opens markets, reduces barriers and increases trade. Increasing international trade stimulates the U.S. economy and provide jobs and opportunities for American businesses in the United States and abroad. It also helps to create a more competitive environment leading to higher productivity and lower costs, which benefits everyone.
Asia is an area of great promise for U.S. trade. A quarter of all U.S. exports go to Asian countries, worth $223 billion. The U.S. has already signed free trade agreements with Singapore and Australia. It is important that the United States continue to engage in liberalizing trade with the Asia Pacific region in order to maintain and enhance our current trading activities. Failure to do so could result in the United States losing its current position as a preferred trading partner.
What Needs To Be Done
• APCAC urges the United States Government to negotiate and implement comprehensive FTAs. We support U.S. free trade agreements currently under negotiation or about to begin, including those with Thailand, Malaysia, and Korea.
• We urge the Congress to approve Vietnam’s accession to the WTO based on terms that are conducive to American business interests, and Permanent Normal Trade Relations with Vietnam.
• We support the WTO and the Doha Development Agenda as the global trading framework and urge the United States and other governments to make real and substantial commitments in supporting the WTO and Doha Development agenda.
• We encourage the Administration to take steps to implement the U.S.-ASEAN Enhanced Partnership encompassing development of deeper trade, political, economic, social, and security cooperation.
In 1917, a small group of businessmen in Singapore formed the American Association, which served the interests of American business well over the subsequent 50 years, including two world wars, until the late 1960s.