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Manufactured Goods Trade with FTAs Moves into Surplus for First Time

07/16/2008

The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) has announced that manufactured goods trade with U.S. free trade agreement (FTA) partners has moved into surplus for the first time.
 
"This is huge, and people need to take notice," said NAM President John Engler. "Contrary to the widely held view that our trade agreements are the cause of the U.S. trade deficit, FTAs are actually the brightest part of our trade picture." Engler continued to say that "through May, manufactured goods trade with our FTA partners was in surplus by nearly a half billion dollars. While this is a modest surplus, it contrasts sharply with our $176 billion deficit with countries that are NOT our free trade partners. Moreover, this surplus reflects an improving trend in trade with FTA partner countries that has been going on for five years."

Engler further called for quick approval of the agreements now pending before Congress - Colombia, Korea, and Panama - so that the United States can get even more benefits from FTAs. He warned that "holding back more trade agreements will only harm the expansion of U.S. exports, which are now the mainstay of the U.S. economy."

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