U.S. Trade with Developing Countries: Trends, Prospects, and Policy Implications [March 28, 2007]   [open pdf - 163KB]

From the Summary: "Developing countries, a heterogeneous group of low- and middle-income countries, have become an increasingly significant factor in U.S. trade flows and trade policy over the last two or more decades. Their influence is reflected in the issues on the trade agenda of the 110th Congress: the possible renewal of fast track trade authority/Trade Promotion Authority; implementing legislation for free trade agreements; re-authorization of trade adjustment assistance (TAA) for workers and firms; review and possible re-authorization of Generalized System of Preferences and other trade preference programs; and oversight of the Doha Development Agenda (DDA) round negotiations in the WTO. The growth of developing countries' economies and foreign trade presents the United States with opportunities and challenges. The imports from many developing economies provide U.S. consumers with an ever widening range of choices of products at lower prices, raising real incomes and contributing to a higher U.S. standard of living. A number of the developing countries have also become robust markets for U.S. exports because of rapid economic growth and trade liberalization. […] Trade with developing countries also raises a set of virtually unique issues regarding labor rights, environment protection, intellectual property rights, among others, that have become fixtures on the U.S. trade agenda. At the same time, developing countries are challenging U.S. policies on trade remedies, high tariffs on wearing apparel and other import-sensitive products, pricing of medicines, and the temporary entry of foreign workers. If current trade trends hold, developing countries can be expected to account for increasing shares of U.S. exports and imports and for world trade. As a result, these opportunities and challenges will likely continue, if not expand."

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CRS Report for Congress, RL33945
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