Support & Expand Free Trade


This question is looking for your views on opening the US economy to the rest of the world. However you answer the above question would be similar to your response to these statements:


International Trade Buzzwords 

‘Fast-Track’ means authorizing the President to sign trade deals with a single yes-or-no Congressional vote after only limited debate. Supporting Fast-Track implies supporting free trade. ‘Fair Trade’ means placing restrictions on imports based on environmental, labor, or other concerns. Supporting Fair Trade implies the speaker is against free trade. ‘Trade Deficits’ mean that the US imports more than we export to a particular country. Concern over trade deficits implies supporting trade restrictions against Mexico, Japan, and East Asia, with whom the US has large trade deficits. 


The North American Free Trade Agreement of 1994 establishes a free-trade zone between the US, Canada, and Mexico. A ‘free trade zone’ means that goods can cross the border in either direction without tariffs or taxes of any kind. Canada is the largest trading partner of the US, accounting for over 25% of both our imports and exports. Mexico & Japan account for about 15% each; Europe combined for about 20%; and East Asia combined for about 15%. In 1994, President Clinton invited Chile to join NAFTA as the next step toward a Free Trade Zone for the Americas.  


The World Trade Organization is an international organization intended to reduce trade barriers, formed in 1995. The General Agreement on Trade and Tariffs is the international treaty which preceded the WTO's formation; it began in 1947. The ‘Uruguay Round’ was the most recently completed round of GATT negotiations, completed in 1994. Negotiations to start a new ‘Round’ took place in Seattle in Dec. 1999, but were disrupted by riots. WTO members (which includes the US and most industrialized countries) grant each other ‘MFN’ or Most Favored Nation status, which means minimal import tariffs.

‘Anti-Dumping Laws’ 

Dumping: A country sells goods in the US at costs lower than they are sold in the home country, presumably with the intent of capturing market share. Countervailing Duties: The US imposes import tariffs -- often 100% or more -- on goods which the government determines have been dumped. In the last 4 years, the federal government found dumping in 107 cases, mostly steel from Asia but also on European bananas, and imposed countervailing duties.


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