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· 2008 National Trade Estimate Report on Foreign Trade Barriers
2008 National Trade Estimate Report on Foreign Trade Barriers: European Union

· 2008 Trade Policy Agenda and 2007 Annual Report of the President

· Department of Commerce: Inter-national Trade Administration | Office of Trade and Industry Information
· Benefits of Trade Costs of Protectionism
· Export Portal - Export.Gov
· Language of Trade CD
· Office of the United States Trade Representative
· An Outline of the U.S. Economy: Foreign Trade and Global Economic Policies CD
· The U.S. and the WTO  CD
U.S. Business Advisor: Import/Export
· U.S. Commercial Service
· U.S. State Department/IIP: Economics & Trade/ Open Markets
· U.S. State Department/IIP: Trade and Economics
· U.S. Trade and Development Agency

Original Documents
Economic Report of the President 2008: The Causes and Consequences of the Export Growth
· EU - U.S Economic Ties: Framework, Scope and Magnitude
· Trade Agreements : Impact on the U.S. Economy
· National Export Strategy 2007

· Trade Policy Agenda 2008 and Annual Report of the President of the United States on the Trade Agreements Program 2007

· U.S. - European Union Trade Relations: Issues and Policy Challenges


U.S. foreign trade and global economic policies have changed direction dramatically during the more than two centuries that the United States has been a country. In the early days of the nation's history, government and business mostly concentrated on developing the domestic economy irrespective of what went on abroad. But since the Great Depression of the 1930s and World War II, the country generally has sought to reduce trade barriers and coordinate the world economic system. Americans are convinced that trade promotes economic growth, social stability, and democracy in individual countries and that it advances world prosperity, the rule of law, and peace in international relations.

Over the past decade, U.S. exports accounted for about a quarter of the economic growth. The United States also maintains a trade surplus in services, $79.7 billion in 2006. The biggest U.S. services export category was travel by foreigners to the United States, $85.8 billion that year. In contrast, the United States runs a large and growing deficit in merchandise goods trade. While the United States exported more than $1 trillion in goods in 2006, it imported more than $1.8 trillion worth. By far the top imports that year were autos and auto parts, $211.9 billion, and crude oil, $225.2 billion. The top sources of U.S. imports were Canada, China, Mexico, Japan, and Germany. Among the top U.S. exports in 2006 were autos and auto parts, semiconductors, and civilian aircraft. The top U.S. export destinations were Canada, Mexico, Japan, China, and the United Kingdom. In 2000-2006, even though U.S. goods exports increased 33 percent, U.S. goods imports went up even faster, 52 percent.

The United States supported trade liberalization and was instrumental in the creation of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT), an international code of tariff and trade rules. One other principle the United States traditionally has followed in the trade arena is multilateralism. Despite its commitment to multilateralism, the United States in recent years also has pursued regional and bilateral trade agreements. The emergence of electronic commerce also is opening a whole new set of trade issues. In 1998, ministers of the World Trade Organization issued a declaration that countries should not interfere with electronic commerce by imposing duties on electronic transmissions, but many issues remain unresolved. The United States would like to make the Internet a tariff-free zone, ensure competitive telecommunications markets around the world, and establish global protections for intellectual property in digital products.

Foreign Trade Statistics
· Statistical Abstract 2008: Foreign Commerce & Aid
· Top Ten Countries
· U.S. Foreign Trade Highlights

Teacher Resources
· Coming and Going: Imports and Exports Throughout the World
· International Trade Creates More and Better Jobs

Link Lists
· Foreign Trade

Texts are abridged from U.S. State Department IIP publications and other U.S. government materials.
Any reference obtained from this server to a specific commercial product, process, or service does not constitute or imply an endorsement by the United States Government of the product, process, or service, or its producer or provider. The views and opinions expressed in any referenced document do not necessarily state or reflect those of the United States Government.
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U.S. Diplomatic Mission to Germany
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Updated:May 2008