"For every country engaged in trade, open markets dramatically widen
the base of possible customers for our goods and services. We must press forward.
Redoubling our efforts to tear down barriers to trade will spur growth in
all our countries. It will create good jobs and boost incomes. It will bring
new opportunities for our people. And it will advance the free flow of ideas,
information and people that are the lifeblood of democracy and prosperity."
May 19, 1998
The Clinton Administration has an unequaled record for opening foreign markets
to U.S exports and expanding prosperity through free trade. This has contributed
to the longest economic expansion in our history, with the U.S. economy growing
from $7 trillion to over $10 trillion in real terms between 1993 and 2000. Employment
in the United States rose from 119 million in 1993 to 135 million in January
of 2000, while unemployment fell to 4.0 percent. During his two terms in office,
President Clinton negotiated more than 300 trade agreements that helped open
markets and create opportunity for Americans. These agreements include six that
fundamentally transformed world trade: NAFTA, which cemented our strategic trade
relationship with our immediate neighbors; the PNTR agreement, which will allow
unprecedented access for American businesses to Chinese markets; the Uruguay
Round, which created the World Trade Organization with a binding dispute settlement
mechanism and extended its rules to new areas such as agriculture, services
and intellectual property; and the three multilateral agreements of 1997 on
information technology, financial services and basic telecommunications. By
opening global markets to U.S. exports and expanding prosperity worldwide, President
Clinton has ensured that the United States will keep pace with the rapidly expanding
global economy and compete on equal terms with foreign competitors.
A RECORD OF ACCOMPLISHMENT
Opening China's Markets
Signed Permanent Normal Trade Relations with China into law on October
10, 2000. The legislation will, upon China's accession to the World Trade
Organization, make available to Americans the benefits of the November 1999
U.S.-China Bilateral WTO agreement, which will allow unprecedented access
for American businesses to Chinese markets. Highlights of the agreement include
reduction in China's industrial and agricultural tariffs by an average of
15 percent, approval for agricultural trade between private parties, and expanded
market access for the telecommunications, insurance, banking, securities,
audiovisual and professional service sectors.
Concluded an unprecedented intellectual property rights agreement in 1995,
in which China agreed to shut down factories producing pirated CD's and CD-ROM's,
to seize pirated products intended for export, and to increase raids on pirate
manufacturers and distributors. Secured improved market access for the motion
picture, computer software and sound recording industries by negotiating tariff
reductions and elimination of quotas. The bilateral WTO agreement further
strengthens American intellectual property rights by committing China to adhere
to the Agreement on Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights.
Establishing the World Trade Organization
Committed to putting a "human face" on the global economy by
ensuring that the benefits of trade are shared broadly and by seeking to protect
the rights of laborers and the state of the environment. For over half a century,
the multilateral trading system - consisting first of the General Agreement
on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) and more recently the World Trade Organization
(WTO) - has played a key part in meeting U.S. trade policy objectives. It
has reduced barriers to trade, strengthened the rule of law and encouraged
economic growth and development internationally. Today, the WTO has 136 members
and more than 30 others are seeking accession.
Led in the establishment of the WTO. Benefited from WTO and U.S. trade
policies that reduced barriers and sustained support for the trading system
by establishing rules that are credible and equitable. The WTO provides rules
for anti-dumping actions, subsidies and countervailing measures, and emergency
protection against imports that we have invoked to combat unfair practices
and provide domestic producers with temporary protection.
Prevailed in 25 out of 27 complaints filed thus far, either by settlement
or panel victory. The WTO also provides an improved institutional framework
for resolving disputes. The rule of law has been strengthened by the new dispute
settlement system, which has proved extremely useful to the United States,
its most frequent user.
Protected intellectual property rights through WTO rules. For the United
States, such rights convey substantial value. In 1998, U.S. trade in royalties
and license fees yielded a positive balance of about $25.5 billion.
Strengthened the U.S. economy by increasing its openness and flexibility.
U.S. tariffs are among the world's lowest, averaging only 2.8 percent. The
United States is also the world's leading trader, accounting for about 14
percent of world exports and about 16 percent of imports.
Bolstered living standards of American citizens by opening free markets.
Export-related jobs are concentrated in high-wage fields that help raise living
standards for American families, paying wages 13-16 percent higher than the
national average. Jobs supported by American exports grew by 1.4 million between
1994 and 1998. Per capita income in the United States is 40 percent higher
than the average for other high-income countries. America gains most when
other nations lower their trade barriers as we reduce ours. Indeed, as one
of the world's most open economies, the United States has a particular interest
in promoting liberalization abroad. In 1940, the average tariff on industrial
products in developed countries was about 40 percent. Soon, it will be less
than 4 percent.
Boosting the U.S. Economy through NAFTA
Led a bipartisan coalition in support of the North American Free Trade
Agreement (NAFTA) and achieved implementation of the agreement helping to
create American jobs, reduce barriers to trade, services and capital flows,
safeguard the integrity of our financial institutions and protect the safety
of our workforce and health of the environment. NAFTA has helped create fair
and open markets for Americans. Under NAFTA, Mexico's average tariff on U.S.
exports has fallen to about 2 percent, and two-thirds of U.S. exports now
enter Mexico duty-free. Today nearly all of the $364 billion in goods traded
between Canada and the United States are duty free.
Since NAFTA's establishment, U.S. goods exports to our NAFTA partners (Mexico
and Canada) rose by $111 billion or 78 percent (to $253 billion), including
$66 billion in export growth to Canada and $45 billion in export growth to
Mexico. Jobs supported by U.S. goods exports to Canada and Mexico total an
estimated 2.6 million in 1998, 31 percent (600,000 new jobs) more than in
1993. Such jobs pay an average of 16% more than non-export related jobs. The
vast bulk - more than over 86 percent - of our NAFTA trade is in manufactured
goods. Our exports of textiles and apparel products to our NAFTA partners
have more than doubled, topping $8 billion in 1999.
Undertook environmental projects in biological diversity, conservation,
sound chemical management, marine ecosystem protection, pollutant reporting,
and trade-environment issues with Mexico and Canada since 1993, through the
Commission for Environmental Cooperation. This has included work on conservation
of the Monarch butterfly, developing the North American Bird Conservation
Strategy and the initiation of a North American Biodiversity Information Network.
Advanced labor issues and monitored enforcement of the labor laws of U.S.
trading partners through the North American Agreement on Labor Cooperation,
the labor supplemental agreement to NAFTA. It also creates a forum for public
concerns about labor law enforcement directly with governments. Twenty submissions
have been filed under this agreement, several leading to ministerial consultations
and adoption of work programs to address their concerns.
Launching the Free Trade Areas of the Americas (FTAA)
Played an essential role since December 1994 in the development of the
Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA) initiative. At the ministerial meeting
of the FTAA in November 1999, Ministers reached unanimous agreement on elimination
of agricultural export subsidies in the WTO and adopted eight measures to
facilitate business in the hemisphere by improving customs efficiency. Ministers
also received the first report of the Committee of Government Representatives
on the Participation of Civil Society, which is dedicated to providing a means
for members of civil society to contribute to the negotiating process. When
completed, the FTAA will embrace a market that includes over 687 million consumers
with a combined income of roughly $9.3 trillion.
Convened two major trade and commerce ministerials - in Denver in July
1995, and in Cartagena in March 1996 - to lay the groundwork for greater economic
cooperation. By assembling the region's business leaders, ensured that private
sector views will be reflected in plans for a Free Trade Area of the Americas.
Increased demand for U.S. products throughout the Americas by supporting
economic recovery and trade liberalization. Total U.S. exports to Latin America
and the Caribbean have grown from $75.14 billion in 1992 to over $140 billion
Expanding Trade with Japan
Established a bilateral forum for addressing deregulation and market access
in Japan with the Enhanced Initiative on Deregulation and Competition Policy,
announced in June 1997. The initiative addresses four issues: telecommunications,
housing, financial services and medical devices and pharmaceuticals.
Reached an agreement with Japan in July 2000, under the auspices of the
Enhanced Initiative, to substantially lower the interconnection rates charged
by Japan's dominant telecommunications carrier, NTT. This agreement will improve
access to Japan's $130 billion telecommunications sector, the world's second-largest.
Issued with Japan the Third Joint Status Report of the U.S.-Japan Enhanced
Initiative on Deregulation and Competition Policy. It contained significant
new Japanese deregulation initiatives in addition to those pertaining to telecommunications,
including new measures on energy, housing, financial services, insurance and
medical devices and pharmaceuticals.
Agreed with Japan to continue the Enhanced Initiative on Deregulation and
Competition Policy for a fourth year, thereby paving the way for further progress,
when President Clinton and Prime Minister Mori met in July 2000.
Seizing New Opportunities in Africa
Signed into law the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) on May 18,
2000. This Act supports increased trade and investment between the United
States and Africa to strengthen African economies and democratic governments.
It also builds capable partnerships to counter terrorism, crime, environmental
degradation and disease. AGOA will expand the Generalized System of Preferences
(GSP) program to provide duty-free treatment to virtually all products exported
to the United States from sub-Saharan Africa. The GSP program provides preferential
tariff treatment for imports of developing countries that satisfy certain
eligibility requirements. The Act will also institutionalize a high-level
economic dialogue and take initial steps toward consideration of a Free Trade
Strengthening Ties with the Caribbean Basin
Enacted the U.S.-Caribbean Basin Trade Partnership Act on May 18, 2000,
expanding trade preferences for Caribbean Basin countries, which form the
sixth largest export market for U.S. goods. The new law will help repair the
devastation of Hurricanes Mitch and Georges in 1998 by promoting investment
and economic growth. The Act expands the Caribbean Basin Initiative trade
preferences enacted in the 1980s by extending duty free treatment to additional
textile and apparel products assembled from U.S. fabric. This will encourage
additional U.S. exports of cotton and yarn and U.S. investment in the region,
while also helping create badly needed jobs for Caribbean workers. The Act
also provides duty-free treatment to textile handicrafts and all non-textile
products currently excluded from such treatment under the existing Caribbean
Expanding Trade with Asia
Instituted annual Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Forum (APEC) economic
Leaders' summit meetings and secured commitment by APEC Leaders to achieve
free trade and investment throughout the region by 2020.
Supported the development and progress of APEC since 1993, facilitating
the flow of goods and services within the Asia Pacific region. In 1999, U.S.
trade with APEC totaled over $1.13 trillion, comprising roughly two-thirds
of U.S. trade with the world.
Created the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) Regional Forum
- the region's first broadly based consultative body concerned with security
issues - reflecting this Administration's readiness to use new multilateral
institutions to help lessen tensions and promote cooperation. Two way trade
with ASEAN countries amounted to $116 billion in 1999.
"Testimony of Ambassador Charlene Barshefsky, USTR: Renewal of Normal
Trade Relations with China," July 9, 1998.
"Joint U.S.-China Statement," October 29, 1997
"Statement of President Clinton to the 1998 WTO Ministerial Meeting, Geneva,"
May 19, 1998.
"1999 Trade Policy Agenda and 1998 Annual Report of the President of the
United States on the Trade Agreements Program: United States Trade Representative,"
"Statement by the President on the passage of the African Growth and Opportunity
Act," July 16, 1999.
"Fact sheet on the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation," September
"Fact Sheets on China Permanent Normal Trade Relations," April 6,
"The WTO and U.S. Economic Growth," March 2, 2000.
"U.S. Membership in the WTO: Supporting American Workers, Farmers, Businesses,
Economic Progress and Security," April 12, 2000.
"The U.S.-China WTO Accession Agreement: Effects on Trade Flows,"
March 30, 2000.