US is the world's leading trader in goods and services, accounting
for about 14 percent of world exports and about 16 percent of
imports. Americans benefit directly from this exchange through
a greater variety of goods and services at less costly prices.
For over half a century the General Agreement on Tariffs and
Trade (GATT) and then the World Trade Organization (WTO) have
played a key part in reducing barriers to trade, strengthening
international laws, and encouraging economic development in
a world that has become increasingly integrated. While there
has been progress, many have argued that further consideration
needs to be given to opening markets, improving the operation
of WTO, more effectively integrating labor and environmental
concerns, and ensuring that the benefits of trade are shared
- On average,
Americans export about 11 percent of all the goods and services
they produce and import about 13 percent of all they consume.
high-tech US manufacturing firms, such as computers and electronics,
export 25 percent or more of their total shipments; US wheat
and rice growers export over 40 percent of their total production.
United States is the world's leading services exporter, accounting
for over 18 percent of all commercial service exports.
“America's Interest in the World Trade Organization: An Economic
Nov. 16, 1999, A Report by the Council of Economic Advisers
has forced the world community to pay attention to problems
in the distribution of its cost and benefits among countries.
The benefits of this integration are distributed unevenly and,
in the eyes of many countries, unfairly. Globalizing forces
in the last two decades of the 20th century failed to eliminate
the dangerous gaps in economic development among countries.
The greatest gain from economic globalization goes to the leading
industrial power's, and above all the most powerful currency
in the most international payments, the American economy enjoys
unparalleled foreign credit. As many a 60 percent of all commercial
transactions in international markets are in American dollars.
About $400 billion in American bills circulates outside the
"Perks and Perils of Globalization, A Challenge to the World
Order." World Press Review April 2000. Originally from Oleg
Bogomolov, Nezavisimaya Gazeta Moscow, Jan 27, 2000.
" . . .
the WTO's 135 members will make a huge mistake if they fail
to grasp the core belief fueling these unruly protests-that
the WTO is far too insular, that it has displayed too little
sensitivity for issues like workers' rights and the environment,
and that its secretive procedures undermine public trust. It
is possible to agree with the WTO's goal of free trade, as this
page does, and also to agree with President Clinton that the
protesters' causes merit sympathy."
New York Times Dec 2, 1999
health of the United States as a whole is increasingly based
on international trade. Thanks in part to lower trade barriers
and strong exports, our economy is the strongest it has been
in a generation. International trade can continue to drive domestic
economic growth and job creation, so long as we have the appropriate
global framework in place.
The World Trade Organization provides its member countries with
exactly that: a forum for negotiating agreements that remove
barriers to the free exchange of –goods and services and for
resolving trade disputes before nations take unilateral actions
that could threaten millions of jobs and global economic progress.
It the W70 didn't exist, the nations of the world would have
to invent it."
Gates, "Shaping the Future in Seattle,
The New York Times Nov. 29, 1999