U.S. Trade Policy

September 13, 2013 • Volume 23, Issue 32
Will new regional trade agreements create American jobs?
By Brian Beary


A cargo container is transferred from a ship to a truck (Getty Images/Bloomberg/Mark Elias)
A cargo container is transferred from a ship to a truck in Miami on Aug. 8, 2013. The Obama administration is negotiating two big trade pacts it hopes will create U.S. jobs by expanding exports. (Getty Images/Bloomberg/Mark Elias)

After more than four years without pushing for new free-trade agreements, President Obama has decided the time is ripe for America to again push for a more liberalized international trading system. The United States is negotiating two massive regional free-trade pacts — one with 11 Asian and Pacific Rim countries and the other with the 28-member European Union. Together, the 40 countries comprise the lion's share of the world economy. Meanwhile, the World Trade Organization is languishing on the sidelines as negotiations over a slew of new regional agreements overshadow the WTO's decade-long effort to broker a single global trade agreement. Hopes for the regional pacts have reignited debates on whether free trade creates or costs U.S. jobs and helps or hurts human rights. Looming over the debates is booming China, whose conglomerates — most owned and subsidized by the state — have conquered markets in both developing and developed nations.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
United States and Foreign Trade
Jul. 16, 2021  U.S. Trade Policy
Sep. 13, 2013  U.S. Trade Policy
Jun. 07, 1996  Rethinking NAFTA
Jan. 29, 1993  U.S. Trade Policy
Dec. 08, 1989  North America Trade Pact: a Good Idea?
Sep. 05, 1986  Trade Trouble-Shooting
Mar. 04, 1983  Global Recession and U.S. Trade
Jan. 12, 1979  Trade Talks and Protectionism
Dec. 16, 1977  Job Protection and Free Trade
May 14, 1976  International Trade Negotiations
Dec. 06, 1961  Revision of Trade and Tariff Policy
Mar. 21, 1960  European Trade Blocs and American Exports
Jan. 30, 1958  Foreign Trade Policy
Jul. 28, 1954  Foreign Trade and the National Interest
Jan. 25, 1940  Tariff Reciprocity and Trade Agreements
Jun. 11, 1935  Foreign Trade Policy of the United States
Jan. 25, 1934  Foreign Trade and Currency Stability
Nov. 01, 1930  Foreign Trade of the United States
Sep. 27, 1923  Combining for the Import Trade
Bilateral and Regional Trade
Diplomacy and Diplomats
Farm Produce and Commodities
International Economic Development
Trade Negotiating Authority
World Trade Organization (WTO)