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Bureau of Economic, Energy and Business Affairs
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Bilateral Trade Affairs
Free Trade Agreements
 - Remarks on Free Trade and Open Markets
 - Colombia Free Trade Agreement
 - Panama Free Trade Agreement
 - South Korea Free Trade Agreement
 - Benefits From Existing Free Trade Agreements

Free Trade Agreements

President Bush makes a statement on Free Trade with Western Hemisphere leaders, Wednesday, Sept. 24, 2008, at the Council of the Americas in New York. [©AP Images]President Bush: "Free and fair trade is in our mutual interests. What's interesting about free and fair trade amongst the nations is that the people benefit. ... It's important for the American people to understand that exports benefit workers. Half of our growth last year was the result of trade. And therefore, it's in our interest to continue to open up markets, particularly in our own neighborhood. There are three free trade agreements pending in the Congress today: South Korea, Panama and Colombia. Obviously, two of those are with nations in our own hemisphere. The Colombia free trade agreement will be good for Colombia; it will be good for America." Full Text | Colombia Fact Sheet

Secretary Rice (Sept. 24): "President George W. Bush met this morning with leaders and representatives from eleven countries in the Western Hemisphere with which we have negotiated free trade agreements to launch the Pathways to Prosperity in the Americas initiative. Pathways will deepen existing partnerships and cooperation to ensure that the benefits of free trade and open investment are broadly shared throughout our societies. The leaders recognized the progress that has been made in the hemisphere to reduce poverty, open economies, and strengthen democracies." Statement | Pathways to Prosperity Fact Sheet

Free trade agreements have proven to be one of the best ways to open up foreign markets to U.S. exporters. The U.S. has agreements in force with 14 countries: Australia, Bahrain, Canada, Chile, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Israel, Jordan, Mexico, Morocco,  Nicaragua, and Singapore. Agreements with three countries--Costa Rica, Oman, and Peru--are pending implementation. In 2007, trade with countries that the U.S. has free trade agreements was significantly greater than their relative share of the global economy: although comprising 7.5% of global GDP (not including the U.S.), those countries accounted for over 42% of U.S. exports.

Pending Free Trade Agreements

Colombia Panama South Korea
Colombia Free Trade Agreement Documents Panama Free Trade Agreement Documents South Korea Free Trade Agreement Documents

Fact Sheet About the Agreement

Fact Sheet About the Agreement Fact Sheet About the Agreement   

Fact Sheets

Remarks on Free Trade and Open Markets

Free Trade Agreement Websites


Pathways to Prosperity MeetingDate: 12/10/2008 Description: Secretary Rice and Panamanian President Torrijos attend opening ceremony of the Pathways to Prosperity meeting. Panama City, Panama, December 10, 2008.  © AP Photo
Secretary Rice (Dec. 10):
This groundbreaking forum is bringing together partners who share a fundamental commitment to expanding opportunities for their people. And that commitment is grounded in democratic values, and it is also grounded in a belief that open markets and free trade leads to growth, and that that can indeed be used to promote social mobility." Full Text | Pathways to Prosperity site

Colombia Tariff Ticker

Colombia: A Status Report
Senior Coordinator Shapiro (Oct. 8):
Woman cuts flowers in Funza, northwest of Bogota, Colombia, Oct. 17, 2006. © AP Images"We exported $8.5 billion to Colombia in 2007 and $6.7 billion in just the first six months of this year. I worry that other countries will take this market from us while the U.S.-Colombia trade agreement is caught up in our domestic politics." full text

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