Archive for the ‘Trade Agreements’ Category

h1

U.S. and Canada Sign Historic Preclearance Agreement

April 16, 2015

Andres Leon is an intern in the International Trade Administration’s Office of North America.

Update: April 20, 2015: This post was updated to provide additional information about “preclearance.”

The United States and Canada have a $1.3 trillion trade and investment relationship. The broad scope of U.S.-Canadian bilateral relations includes extensive economic, cultural, and educational ties with nearly $2 billion in two-way trade in goods and services, and more than 300,000 border crossings each day.

As a result, the United States and Canada signed a historic cross-border agreement on March 16, 2015 that will further benefit travelers and enhance trade in North America. The Agreement on Land, Rail, Marine, and Air Transport Preclearance Between the Government of the United States and the Government of Canada, also known as “Preclearance,” creates the opportunity for requests for new preclearance locations and enables exploration of co-location at small and remote ports of entry. It also enables Canada to request the conversion of immigration pre-inspection sites at cruise, rail, and ferry terminals in British Columbia to full preclearance.

Preclearance customs inspection points have reduced waiting times and congestion at designated points of entry, while also strengthening security along the U.S.-Canada border. The Preclearance agreement also provides a framework to expand Preclearance sites, which will further facilitate trade and tourism in one of the most active economic regions in the world.

The Preclearance signing is yet another milestone for the Beyond the Border initiative that was announced by President Obama and Prime Minister Harper in 2011 in an effort to provide a shared approach to perimeter security and economic competitiveness. To learn more about Preclearance benefits and locations, visit U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

h1

The United States and Canada Improve Cross-Border Trade and Transportation Through Innovative Partnership

April 14, 2015

Andres Leon is an intern in the International Trade Administration’s Office of North America.

In 2011, President Obama and Canada’s Prime Minster Harper announced the Beyond the Border initiative to enhance security and accelerate the flow of people, goods, and services between the United States and Canadian border. On February 18, 2015, Beyond the Border reached a new milestone: the United States, Canada, and the state of Michigan signed an agreement to finance the proposed New International Trade Crossing (NITC) that will link Detroit and Windsor, Ontario. The Detroit-Windsor corridor is one of the most important crossings for U.S.-Canadian commerce. The new agreement includes funding for a U.S. customs plaza that will be procured as part of the NITC public-private partnership to finance, design, construct, operate, and maintain the project. The costs of the project will be paid from future toll revenues.

The public-private partnership is a true sign of progress for the border initiative and will provide the United States and Michigan with jobs, modern infrastructure, and improved security. The United States and Canada are strong economic partners, with Canada being the largest trading partner for the United States and the state of Michigan. Many jobs in the United States, and particularly in Michigan, depend on U.S.-Canada trade. In fact, last year, annual trade in goods and services between the two countries was roughly $658 billion, a quarter of which was facilitated in the Detroit-Windsor corridor.

The new agreement is a result of several years of discussions and cooperation among the U.S. Department of State, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the U.S. General Services Administration, the state of Michigan, the Windsor-Detroit Bridge Authority, and Transport Canada. Above all, the agreement reflects the ongoing commitment of U.S. and Canadian officials to promote long-term economic growth in the region.

h1

Increased Exports and the Jobs Supported by Exports Are Keys to Heightened Economic Confidence

March 12, 2015

This post originally appeared on the Department of Commerce blog.

Guest blog post by Stefan M. Selig, Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade

Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade Stefan M. Selig

Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade Stefan M. Selig

When we look back at 2014, it will be seen as the year our country regained its economic confidence, symbolized by the nearly 3 million jobs our economy created in 2014.

While this feat extended the longest streak of job growth in American history, we should not overlook the role our exports and our exporters played in regaining that economic confidence.

U.S. exports of goods and services tallied a record $2.35 trillion in 2014. That was the fifth consecutive year we achieved record exports. This is a clear validation of the Administration’s commitment to a robust trade and investment agenda.

In fact, there are three ways that our exports played an important role in the breakthrough year our economy produced.

First, at the same time that we were experiencing the longest streak of job growth, we also experienced a record year when it came to export-supported jobs: more than 11.7 million. This number includes the 2.8 million jobs supported by the exports to our North American Free Trade Agreement partners Canada and Mexico. And we know those export supported jobs pay 13 to 18% higher wages than non-export supported jobs.

Second, U.S. exporters reaped the benefits of a record year of exports with our 20 free trade partners – with a total of $765 billion in goods sent to these markets. That record included increases in exports to Colombia (up 10.5%), South Korea (up 6.8%) and the Central America Free Trade Agreement-Dominican Republic partners (up 5.7%). Overall, these 20 countries purchase nearly half of all U.S. exports today – 47% to be exact.

Third, a major driver of our export growth came from our Latin American free trade partners, such as Chile, Colombia, Mexico, Panama, and Peru. Exports to these 11 countries alone represented more than a third of our entire year-over-year increase in exports. The region is a major destination for U.S. petroleum and coal, computers and electronics, chemicals, and transportation equipment.

So 2014 was clearly a breakthrough year for our exports and for our economy in general. Now, we need the tools that will allow us to carry that momentum into 2015 and beyond.

That is why passing trade promotion legislation is even more crucial, particularly as we work to finalize the historic Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement (TPP).

TPP will give U.S. exporters better access to the Asia-Pacific, which will carry the majority of global middle class by 2030. TPP means taking the very success we have seen in Latin America – U.S. goods exports to Look South markets increased 5.4 percent in 2014 from the previous year, more than double the increase of goods exports to the rest of the world — and replicating it in the Asia-Pacific.

To help our negotiators reach the best deal possible, the President needs Congress to pass trade promotion legislation. This would signal to our negotiating partners that a successfully negotiated TPP will not be held up by amendments when it goes to Congress for a final vote. This would give those trading partners the confidence to put their final offers on the table.

And because trade promotion legislation empowers Congress to determine the priorities and objectives our negotiators must pursue, it will ensure TPP embodies the values of 21st century global commerce: environmental protection, workplace regulations, and fair wages.

If we want a future that will include connecting U.S. exporters to 60% of global GDP, accessing the majority of global middle class consumers, supporting more American jobs through expanded exports, and locking 21st century values into the global trading system, then trade promotion legislation will be an essential element.

h1

Secretary Pritzker Joins Bipartisan Roundtable on the Benefits of Trade During National Governors Association Winter Meeting

February 24, 2015
Secretary Pritzker Joins Bipartisan Roundtable on the Benefits of Trade During National Governors Association Winter Meeting

Secretary Pritzker Joins Bipartisan Roundtable on the Benefits of Trade During National Governors Association Winter Meeting

 

This post originally appeared on the Department of Commerce blog.

Yesterday, Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker joined a bipartisan roundtable at the White House on the importance of trade and new trade agreements. The meeting was part of the National Governors Association (NGA) Winter Meeting in Washington. NGA is the bipartisan organization of the nation’s governors, and its members include the 55 states, territories and commonwealths of the United States.

Governors John Hickenlooper of Colorado, Gary Herbert of Utah, and Terry McAuliffe of Virginia attended the roundtable, along with Secretary Pritzker, U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, and White House officials.

During the discussion, Secretary Pritzker highlighted how trade has helped drive the nation’s economic recovery and proven beneficial to state’s economies. For example, more than 5,000 Colorado businesses, both large and small, are counted among the ranks of America’s exporters. Exports from Virginia to our free trade agreement partners have grown by 74 percent over the past 10 years, and in Ogden, Utah, exports drove more than 100 percent of growth out of the recession.

Overall, exports support 11.3 million American jobs – which pay up to 18 percent higher than jobs not related to exports. In addition, the Commerce Department announced earlier this month that American exports had hit an all-time high for the fifth year running – sending $2.35 trillion worth of goods and services overseas.

That is why the Obama Administration has set an ambitious trade agenda focused on building on this progress. It will ensure U.S. businesses in every state can access more global markets with fewer barriers.

This agenda includes the completion and implementation of new trade agreements including the Trans Pacific Partnership, which the U.S. is negotiating with 11 other nations. Once completed, TPP will give American businesses free trade arrangements with 40 percent of global GDP.

Secretary Pritzker stressed to the attending governors that in today’s global economy, American prosperity is directly tied to our ability to reach new markets and new customers beyond our borders. Today’s roundtable gave Secretary Pritzker an opportunity to urge the nation’s governors to support trade policies like TPP, and explain why they are essential to the growth of the economy, to the creation of good jobs, to the economic security of American families, and to the competitiveness of our businesses.

h1

One Year Later, Look South Looking Brighter

January 9, 2015

This post contains external links. Please review our external linking policy.

Joe Matthews recently completed an internship in the International Trade Administration’s Office for Export Policy, Promotion, and Strategy.

As yet another polar vortex bears down on much of the United States, we in the trade community can still find some sunshine in the fresh trade data through November 2014. Our export numbers are up globally, and some bright spots are appearing for trade with our friends to the south one year after launching the Look South initiative — they include:

  • U.S. goods exports to Look South markets (our 11 Free Trade Agreement (FTA) partner countries in Latin America) increased by $16.0 billion through November 2014, which accounts for more than one-third of the increase in U.S. global exports over the same period in 2013.
  • Despite most being small- and medium-sized economies, these 11 trade partners represent 20.3 percent of total U.S. good exports through November 2014, up from 16.7 percent in 2009.
  • In 2012 (the latest data available), more than 89,000 American companies exported to Look South markets. This is an increase of more than 2,600 from 2011.
  • In particular, Mexico stands out as an excellent place for U.S. companies to look for new opportunities as 1,700 of those 2,600 new firms entered the Mexican market.

Mexico is one hot destination, as goods exported to Mexico rose more than $13 billion through November 2014, an increase of 6.5 percent.  The International Monetary Fund (IMF) projects Mexico’s economic growth at 3.5 percent in 2015, which is a sizeable increase from the IMF’s 2014 prediction of 2.4 percent and bodes well for U.S. exports.

Colombia is an emerging export market thanks to the U.S.-Colombia Trade Promotion Agreement that entered into force in 2012. U.S. exports to Colombia have increased by $1.8 billion through November 2014, a 10.8 percent increase over the same period 2013. Colombia was also a recent winner in the World Bank’s 2015 Doing Business reports, jumping from 53 to 34 to take the top spot for all of Latin America.

The popularity of Latin American FTA markets as export destinations is heightened by improvements in economic growth. According to IMF estimates, in 2014, the top four economic growth performers in the region are Panama, the Dominican Republic, Bolivia, and Colombia, three of which have FTAs with the United States. Strong growth in both the United States and these countries will positively affect one another, helping encourage trade.

Through November 2014, our progress with the Look South Initiative shines. So grab your warm weather gear and Look South for bright new opportunities—don’t forget your shades!

h1

Automotive Exports to Latin American Free Trade Agreement Partners on the Rise

August 14, 2014

Leif Anderson recently completed an internship in the International Trade Administration’s Office for Export Policy, Promotion, and Strategy.

The DISCOVER GLOBAL MARKETS: Free Trade Agreements Conference in Detroit will be a premier event for any business looking to expand exports in free trade markets.

This is especially true for U.S. auto exporters who are looking for new opportunities in increasingly attractive free trade markets in Latin America.

Mexico is the largest growing U.S. auto/auto parts export market in the world, with growth of $8.2 billion from 2009 to 2013 – that’s a 13 percent annual increase.

Mexico recently passed Brazil as the top Latin American car producer, increasing demand for automobile parts from the United States.

Robots In a Car Factory

The DISCOVER: Free Trade Agreements forum will be a great event for U.S. auto exporters.

Auto parts/supplies exports to other Latin American markets have also grown since 2009:

  • Chile – 15.3 percent,
  • Colombia – 14.7 percent,
  • Peru – 16.2 percent,
  • Dominican Republic – 10 percent, and
  • Panama – 9.2 percent.

This growth can be largely attributed to strengthening free trade agreements in the region which have reduced or eliminated most import taxes on U.S. products. These markets also have vibrant middle classes and industrial demand.

The DISCOVER: Free Trade Agreements event will be a great event for U.S. auto exporters looking to expand in these markets.

The event features insights from some of the most successful exporters in the industry, including:

  • Mustafa Mohatarem, Chief Economist at General Motors, and
  • Michael S. Sheridan, Director of Global Trade Strategy with the Ford Motor Company.

The Federal Government is also supporting U.S. exporters expanding into Latin American free trade markets through the Look South campaign.

Businesses can find best prospect automotive industry market snapshots cutting across eight of our eleven Look South free trade agreement partner countries – along with similar market research on 20-plus industry sectors.

Looking forward, growing demand and fewer trade barriers have made this region an ideal destination for any the products of any U.S. business. We encourage you to start taking advantage of this great opportunity.

h1

Discover the Best Ways to Take Advantage of U.S. Free Trade Agreements

August 11, 2014

Peggy Pauley and Brian Miller are Senior International Trade Specialists in Louisville, Kentucky.

Members of a Nigerian business delegation meet with US commercial specialitst.

The DISCOVER event in Detroit will feature delegations from Costa Rica, Guatemala, Honduras, and Morocco to discuss potential business opportunities.

When it comes to supporting U.S. exporters, there are few better tools than free trade agreements (FTAs).

These agreements decrease or eliminate tariffs and non-tariff barriers, lowering the hurdles to exporting. Exports to our FTA partners are up 57 percent since 2009, and comprise 46 percent of total U.S. goods exports.

For businesses ready to expand their exports to U.S. free trade partners, the U.S. Commercial Service is hosting the DISCOVER GLOBAL MARKETS: Free Trade Agreements Business Forum in Detroit, September 9-10th.

The Forum features a number of programs to support attendees looking to increase their exports, including:

  • Pre-scheduled one-on-one meetings with U.S. commercial diplomats from 18 free trade markets;
  • Delegations of public and private sector companies from Costa Rica, Guatemala, Morocco, and Honduras who are looking for potential business partners;
  • Networking opportunities throughout the conference; and
  • Dynamic market exploration sessions.

Register for Discover: Free Trade Agreements

We’ll also have speakers from companies that have set the standard for exporting, including:

  • Romaine Seguin, President, UPS Americas Region;
  • Michael Sheridan, Director, Global Trade Strategy & Policy, Ford Motor Company; and,
  • Mustafa Mohatarem, Chief Economist, General Motors.

For any business looking to export, free trade markets present an excellent opportunity. The DISCOVER: Free Trade Agreements event will give your business the insight and contacts necessary to get started.