Who Stands to Gain Under Fast-Track?
December 17, 2001
As legislation to grant President Bush fast-track authority on trade negotiations advances on Capitol Hill, the question arises as to which industries and areas of the globe stand to gain from removal of trade barriers?
- Such multinationals as Boeing Corp. and Caterpillar Inc. -- which already account for some 60 percent of U.S. exports -- should see a boost in foreign sales prospects.
- America's grain farmers, cattle ranchers and food processors -- which are twice as dependent on export sales as the rest of the economy -- will benefit as high trade barriers for their goods fall.
- Hollywood and Silicon Valley also see a chance to increase copyright and trademark protections.
- Manufacturers -- especially makers of telecommunications and computer gear -- see a chance to gain as barriers to government procurement abroad fall.
A free-trade deal with Chile to remove the 11 percent tariff faced by U.S. exporters may be the first to be approved by Congress. The Bush administration is seeking guarantees by Singapore against expropriations of investments -- as well as open access to its financial services markets.
The U.S. wants to knit together 34 countries in the Americas into the world's largest free-trade zone -- but a treaty probably won't be reached until 2005, at the earliest.
Source: Paul Magnusson, "Primed for Fast Track and Raring to Go," Business Week, December 24, 2001.
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