Six percent of the world’s population reside in countries that have a Free Trade Agreement with the United States, but these countries purchased nearly half of all U.S. exports.

. . .

“America cannot have a growing economy or lift the wages and incomes of our citizens unless we continue to reach beyond our borders and sell products, produce, and services to the 95% of the world’s population that lives outside the United States.

“WHY IS TRADE IMPORTANT?

  • “Jobs. Nearly 39 million American jobs depend on trade, and trade is critical to the success of many sectors of the U.S. economy.
  • “Growth. According to economic data from the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, U.S. real manufacturing output has risen by nearly 80% over the past 25 years. This represents the continuation of a long trend: U.S. manufacturing value-added has grown eightfold since 1947 in real terms.
  • “Business. 98% of the roughly 300,000 U.S. companies that export are small and medium-sized businesses, and they account for one-third of U.S. merchandise exports, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce. The number of small and midsized firms that export has risen about threefold over the past two decades.

“TRADE AND MANUFACTURING

  • “Vast productivity gains relating to increased use of automation and information technologies have helped U.S. manufacturers retain and in many areas enhance their global competitiveness in recent years, even as the number of Americans employed in manufacturing has declined since its peak in 1979.
  • “U.S. exports of manufactured goods reached nearly $1.4 trillion in 2018, accounting for 56% of all U.S. exports.
  • “The U.S. Department of Commerce estimates that exports of manufactured goods directly support more than 6 million U.S. manufacturing jobs—roughly half of all manufacturing employment.

“TRADE AND U.S. SERVICES

  • “U.S. exports of services are also booming, reaching $828 billion in 2018, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce.
  • “The United States is by far the world’s largest exporter of services, and America’s globally competitive service industries—including audiovisual, banking, energy services, express delivery, information technology, insurance, and telecommunications—benefit immensely from opportunities abroad.

“TRADE AND FARMING

  • “American farmers and ranchers also depend on exports. The same is true for America’s farmers and ranchers. About 25% of U.S. farm products by value are exported each year.
  • “For many crops, such as wheat or almonds, more than half is sold abroad. U.S. agriculture is so productive there’s no way Americans could consume this bounty alone.”

Source: U.S. Chamber of Commerce