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Free Trade Agreement ("FTA")

Background

A free trade agreement ("FTA") is a reciprocal arrangement entered into by two or more countries, each granting the other(s) free access to its market. The rules of origin ("ROO") of the agreement prescribe precisely what operations confer origin and are extremely important. Strong rules can make an FTA good for the U.S. textile industry; weak rules are always bad for our industry. FTAs are to be distinguished from trade preference programs which are unilateral acts of the U.S. which give a trade benefit to some nation(s) but are not reciprocal negotiated agreements.

U.S. Free Trade Agreements In Effect

The U.S. is partner to 14 free trade agreements with 20 nations. [In chronological order.]

  1. U.S.-Israel FTA, effective September 1, 1985.
  2. NAFTA, effective January 1, 1994 (superseded U.S.-Canada FTA of January 1, 1989).
  3. U.S.-Jordan FTA, effective December 17, 2001.
  4. U.S-Singapore FTA, effective January 1, 2004.
  5. U.S-Chile FTA, effective January 1, 2004.
  6. U.S-Australia FTA, effective January 1, 2005.
  7. U.S-Morocco FTA, effective January 1, 2006.
  8. DR-CAFTA:
    1. El Salvador, March 1, 2006,
    2. Honduras, April 1, 2006,
    3. Nicaragua, April 1, 2006,
    4. Guatemala, July 1, 2006,
    5. Dominican Republic, March 1, 2007, and
    6. Costa Rica, January 1, 2009.
  9. U.S.-Bahrain FTA, effective August 1, 2006.
  10. U.S.-Oman FTA, effective January 1, 2009.
  11. U.S.-Peru TPA, effective February 1, 2009.
  12. U.S.-South Korea FTA, effective March 15, 2012.
  13. U.S.-Colombia TPA, effective May 15, 2012.
  14. U.S.-Panama TPA, October 31, 2012.

Negotiation Begun

[In alphabetic order.]
  1. U.S.-Ecuador FTA (talks went nowhere).
  2. U.S.-Malaysia FTA (announced March 8, 2006; suspended March 23, 2007; now part of TPP negotiation).
  3. U.S.-South African Customs Union FTA (talks went nowhere):
    • Botswana,
    • Lesotho,
    • Namibia,
    • South Africa, and
    • Swaziland.
  4. U.S.-Thailand FTA (announced October 2003; suspended September 19, 2006).
  5. U.S.-United Arab Emirates FTA (announced March 2005).
  6. Trans-Pacific Partnership (announced February 4, 2008)
    • Australia (already have a bilateral FTA),
    • Brunei,
    • Canada (already in NAFTA),
    • Chile (already have a bilateral FTA),
    • Japan,
    • Malaysia,
    • Mexico (already in NAFTA),
    • New Zealand,
    • Peru (already have a bilateral FTA),
    • Singapore (already have a bilateral FTA), and
    • Vietnam.

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This page last updated 5/22/2014.