AN EVALUATION OF NEW UNITED STATES FREE TRADE AGREEMENTS TO PROMOTE EXPORT-LED DOMESTIC MANUFACTURING GROWTH IN AN ERA OF ANTI-FREE TRADE POLITICAL FACTIONS

Dr. James Tanoos

Abstract


Prompted initially by the economic success of the North American Free Trade Agreement, trade cooperation around the world is on the rise, leading to a flurry of new Free Trade Agreements.  While economies in developed countries such as the US have achieved growth due to the lowering of trade barriersthat follow completed FTA’s, coinciding tensions have escalated from factions within the industrial sectors of the economywho claim that overall imports increasebut at the expense of overall domestic output and export growth.The Asia-Pacific region, particularlyChina, has concurrently seen unprecedented economic success with their own successfully negotiated FTA’s, driven by the access to new markets which allow forthe export of their manufactured goods.  As a result of the economic success of this phenomenon, races to pursue new FTA’s have emerged, along with resistance from a variety of international actors.  For example, the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership, a FTA linking the US to East Asian countriesspecifically not including China, has escalated tensions from labor groups within the US who claim that FTA’s hurt US manufacturing growth.  This study assesses trends in trade with recently completed US FTA partners in order to determine the merits of domestic industrial factions in their claims that FTA’s hurt overall US exports.


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