Trade Agreements can create opportunities for Americans and help to grow the U.S. economy.
USTR has principal responsibility for administering U.S. trade agreements. This involves monitoring our trading partners' implementation of trade agreements with the United States, enforcing America's rights under those agreements, and negotiating and signing trade agreements that advance the President's trade policy.
The United States is Member of the World Trade Organization (WTO), and the Marrakesh Agreement Establishing the World Trade Organization (WTO Agreement) sets out rules governing trade among the WTO's 154 members. The United States and other WTO Members are currently engaged in Doha Development Round of world trade talks, and a strong, market-opening Doha agreement for both goods and services would be an important contribution to addressing the global economic crisis and helping to restore trade's role in leading economic growth and development.
The United States has free trade agreements (FTAs) in effect with 20 countries. These FTAs build on the foundation of the WTO Agreement, with more comprehensive and stronger disciplines than the WTO Agreement. Many of our FTAs are bilateral agreements between two governments. But some, like the North American Free Trade Agreement and the Dominican Republic-Central America-United States Free Trade Agreement, are multilateral agreements among several parties.
Another important type of trade agreement is the Trade and Investment Framework Agreement. TIFAs provide frameworks for governments to discuss and resolve trade and investment issues at an early stage. These agreements are also a means to identify and work on capacity-building where appropriate.
The United States also has a series of Bilateral Investment Treaties (BITs) help protect private investment, develop market-oriented policies in partner countries, and promote U.S. exports.