Free Trade Agreements: Impact on U.S. Trade and Implications for U.S. Trade Policy [Updated April 9, 2002]   [open pdf - 132KB]

"In the last few years, the United States has considered bilateral and regional free trade areas (FTAs) with a number of trading partners. Such arrangements are not new in U.S. trade policy. The United States has had a free trade arrangement with Israel since 1985 and with Canada since1989. The latter was expanded to include Mexico in 1994 to become the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) effective in January 1994. The United States has been conducting negotiations with 33 Western Hemispheric countries with a goal of forming a Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA) by 2005 and with various Asian and Pacific-Rim countries to achieve a free trade and investment area by 2020. In the last two years, U.S. interest in bilateral and regional free trade arrangements has surged. In 2000, the United States began and completed negotiations with Jordan on a bilateral free trade agreement (FTA) and began separate negotiations with Singapore and with Chile. Furthermore, some Members of Congress have introduced legislation to encourage the formation of free trade arrangements with other trading partners. The surge in interest in FTAs as a component of U.S. trade policy comes at a time when major U.S. trading partners, for example, Canada, Mexico, Japan, and the EU, are themselves negotiating and forming FTAs with various other countries. […] This report will monitor pending and possible proposals for U.S. FTAs, relevant legislation and other congressional interest in U.S. FTAs. The report will be revised as events warrant."

Report Number:
CRS Report for Congress, RL31356
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