"The United States historically has led the global economic order that evolved after World War II. This economic order established multilateral economic institutions to advance rules-based commercial economic engagement, open markets, and transparent, nondiscriminatory treatment of all economic players. In turn, these efforts supported overall domestic and global economic growth and the nation's broader strategic interests. This agenda was broadly supported by successive Congresses and administrations over seven decades. Congress plays a key role in U.S. trade policy by approving trade agreements, overseeing trade-oriented government agencies and adjustment assistance programs, and by setting the terms for U.S. engagement with the global economy. […] The United States recently concluded Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) among the United States and eleven other countries and is currently negotiating the U.S.-European Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (T-TIP). The 12 TPP countries signed the agreement in February 2016, which must be ratified by each country before it can enter into force. In the United States, this requires implementing legislation by Congress. Other countries also are participating in, or currently negotiating, a variety of FTAs [Free Trade Agreements]. […] This report focuses on a number of major issues concerning the role of trade and trade agreements in the economy and issues that are particular to FTAs."
CRS Report for Congress, R44546
Federation of American Scientists: http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/index.html