After more than half a century in which the United States led international trade liberalization, the country has been in a long stalemate over trade policy. It has been losing ground as other nations enter into market-opening arrangements that disadvantage U.S.-based production. In an increasingly competitive global economy, the policies of the past no longer offer a road map for the future. U.S. Trade Policy assesses current U.S. trade policy and analyzes issues of trade policy authority, trade negotiations, investment rules, competition policy, regulatory barriers, exchange rates, and export controls.
This report argues that closing the political divide on trade will require measures that respond to the American public's ambivalence and are more explicitly designed to maximize the economic benefits that come from trade openings by increasing exports and attracting job creating investment. It also offers recommendations for trade and investment policies the United States should adopt that will help to create jobs and raise incomes for more Americans while also advancing foreign policy interests.