NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis


January 18, 2007

The Central American Free Trade Agreement, allowing freer trade with the Dominican Republic and five Central American nations, was approved in 2005; and a dozen other bilateral or regional free-trade agreements with foreign nations have been put in place. Eleven more agreements are under negotiation -- with two of them and the granting of normal trade status to Vietnam awaiting congressional approval.  These trade agreements expand America's marketing opportunities and the jobs that go with them, says Pete du Pont, chairman of the National Center for Policy Analysis.


  • As a recent Wall Street Journal editorial pointed out, Peru already has broad duty-free access to U.S. markets, so by the new Peru agreement ``80 percent of U. S. industrial and textile products, and more than two-thirds of U.S. farm exports would enter Peru duty-free immediately.''
  • The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) has expanded total trade between the United States, Canada and Mexico by 172 percent.
  • U.S. exports to Mexico have grown by 189 percent and to Canada by 111 percent.
  • U.S. agricultural exports to Canada have doubled to $10.6 billion from $5.3 billion, and to Mexico even more -- to $9.4 billion from $3.6 billion.
  • More than one million jobs were created in America by NAFTA.
  • Overall the U.S. Trade Representative's office says that 10.4 percent of the 2005 American gross domestic product (GDP) is the result of U.S. exports of goods and services.

Imports give people a wider choice of goods, often at lower prices while protectionism helps local industries maintain higher prices at the expense of broad social and economic prosperity.  In short, trade helps people while protectionism hurts them, says du Pont.

Source: Pete du Pont, "Ensure economic growth," Miami Herald, January 16, 2007.


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