OPEN MARKETS FOR INTERNATIONAL TRADE AND INVESTMENT
In 2008, more than 38 million jobs in America— more than one in five — depended oninternational trade — exports and imports.
In 1992, a year before the implementation of aseries of U.S. bilateral, regional and multilateraltrade agreements, the total of trade-related jobsin the United States was only 14.5 million.
The growth of 24 million new trade-related jobsfor U.S. workers in two decades demonstratesclearly that trade is an important engine foreconomic growth and job creation.
In 2009, more than 275,000 U.S. companiesexported merchandise to customers abroad, andnearly 180,000 U.S. companies imported rawmaterials, components and finished productsfor U.S. manufacturers, services providers andconsumers.
Exports also support higher-paying jobs. Positionsin the manufacturing sector linked to the exportof goods pay on average 18 percent more thanother jobs.
Trade agreements are essential to creatingeconomic and strategic benefits for the UnitedStates.
The Uruguay Round of multilateral tradenegotiations, which resulted in the creation of theWorld Trade Organization (WTO), was projectedto add at least $70 billion to global economicoutput. More than a quarter of this gain —$19.8 billion — was estimated to accrue to theUnited States.
About 40 percent of U.S. exports now go to thenation’s Free Trade Agreement (FTA) partners, and U.S. exports to FTA partner countries are growing fasterthan U.S. exports to countries that do not have FTAs with the United States. In 2011, the United States hada roughly $50 billion manufactured goods trade surplus with its 17 FTA partner countries combined.
U.S. exports represent a significant share of U.S.GDP and have increased over time, showing theimportance of exports to U.S. economic growth and job creation.
Exports’ Share of GDP
1985 20101990 1995 2000 2005
Source: U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of Economic Analysis
Existing U.S. trade agreements represent a largeshare of U.S. exports, and there is room for moreagreements.
Shares of U.S. Exports
2005200720092011Rest of WorldU.S. FTAs
Source: Bureau of Economic Affairs, Foreign Trade Division, Exports to Foreign Countries,U.S. State Department