Under the National Export Initiative
Opening Markets through Trade Agreements: The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative has negotiated, put into effect, and enforced trade agreements, eliminating or reducing other countries’ tariffs and other trade barriers, making it easier for American businesses of all sizes to export, supporting additional high-paying jobs, and helping to grow the U.S. economy.
The United States has negotiated and put into effect free trade agreements with 20 different countries. The United States is working with its FTA partners to monitor the operation and implementation of these agreements, which provide improved market access opportunities for U.S. exporters.
The United States, working with other World Trade Organization (WTO) Members, successfully concluded negotiations on the terms of Russia’s membership in the WTO, and after nearly two decades of effort, Russia became a WTO member on August 22, 2012. On December 14, 2012, President Obama signed legislation – which the U.S. Congress had approved overwhelmingly – terminating the application of the Jackson-Vanik amendment and authorizing extension of permanent normal trade relations to Russia. As of December 21, 2012, the WTO agreement applies between the United States and Russia: American businesses and workers now will be able to benefit from improved market access for U.S. exports of goods and services, and Russia is now a party to the system of established, enforceable, multilateral trade rules.
The United States is negotiating with Asia-Pacific nations an ambitious, state-of-the-art Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement that will create significant new opportunities to increase U.S. exports that support higher-paying jobs in the United States. The Asia-Pacific region includes some of the world’s most-dynamic economies and is already a key destination for U.S. manufactured goods, agricultural products, and services accounting in 2012 for more than 60 percent of U.S. goods exports and nearly three-quarters of U.S. total agricultural exports.
Canada and Mexico’s October 2012 entry into the TPP negotiations will generate even further opportunities for U.S. export growth, allow U.S. companies to leverage their existing North American supply chains by exporting goods to other TPP countries, and help fulfill President Obama’s pledge to improve NAFTA.
- The Obama Administration reached a landmark agreement by Leaders of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum (APEC) on a commercially and environmentally meaningful APEC List of Environmental Goods, on which APEC economies will cut tariffs to 5 percent or less by 2015. This marks the first time that trade negotiations have produced a list of environmental goods for tariff cuts. More than $1 billion in U.S. exports of these goods currently face tariffs above five percent in the Asia-Pacific region; thus, the tariff cuts on these products will contribute significantly to the Obama Administration’s goal to double exports by the end of 2014.
Helping U.S. Businesses: When an American company experiences a trade-related problem abroad, Market Access and Compliance (MAC) experts use a variety of tools to achieve a resolution, tailoring the approach to the company’s needs. These problems can range from short-term issues, such as getting a product through customs, to longer-term, systemic challenges, like a foreign government reserving its entire renewable energy sector for domestic firms. Learn more about the assistance MAC offers.
The International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, manages this global trade site to provide access to ITA information on promoting trade and investment, strengthening the competitiveness of U.S. industry, and ensuring fair trade and compliance with trade laws and agreements. External links to other Internet sites should not be construed as an endorsement of the views or privacy policies contained therein. This site contains PDF documents. A PDF reader is available from Adobe Systems Incorporated.