Chapter VI. Ignite a New Era of Global Economic Growth through Free Markets and Free Trade
Section B. Current Context: Successes and Challenges
The global economy is more open and free, and many people around the world have seen
their lives improve as prosperity and economic integration have increased. The
Administration has accomplished much of the economic freedom agenda it set out in
Seizing the global initiative. We have worked to open markets and integrate the global
economy through launching the Doha Development Agenda negotiations of the World
Trade Organization (WTO). The United States put forward bold and historic proposals to
reform global agricultural trade, to eliminate farm export subsidies and reduce trade-
distorting support programs, to eliminate all tariffs on consumer and industrial goods, and
to open global services markets. When negotiations stalled in 2003, the United States
took the initiative to put Doha back on track, culminating in a successful framework
agreement reached in Geneva in 2004. As talks proceed, the United States continues to
lead the world in advancing bold proposals for economic freedom through open markets.
We also have led the way in helping the accessions of new WTO members such as
Armenia, Cambodia, Macedonia, and Saudi Arabia.
Pressing regional and bilateral trade initiatives. We have used FTAs to open markets,
support economic reform and the rule of law, and create new opportunities for American
farmers and workers. Since 2001, we have:
· Implemented or completed negotiations for FTAs with 14 countries on 5 continents,
and are negotiating agreements with 11 additional countries;
· Partnered with Congress to pass the Central America Free Trade Agreement
Dominican Republic (CAFTA-DR), long sought by the leaders of El Salvador,
Honduras, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, and Dominican Republic;
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· Called in 2003 for the creation of a Middle East Free Trade Area (MEFTA) by 2013
to bring the Middle East into an expanding circle of opportunity;
· Negotiated FTAs with Bahrain, Jordan, Morocco, and Oman to provide a foundation
for the MEFTA initiative;
· Launched in 2002 the Enterprise for ASEAN Initiative, which led to the completion
of a free trade agreement with Singapore, and the launch of negotiations with
Thailand and Malaysia;
· Concluded an FTA with Australia, one of America's strongest allies in the Asia-
Pacific region and a major trading partner of the United States; and
· Continued to promote the opportunities of increased trade to sub-Saharan Africa
through the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), and extended opportunity
to many other developing countries through the Generalized System of Preferences.
Pressing for open markets, financial stability, and deeper integration of the world
economy. We have partnered with Europe, Japan, and other major economies to promote
structural reforms that encourage growth, stability, and opportunity across the globe. The
United States has:
· Gained agreement in the G-7 on the Agenda for Growth, which commits member
states to take concrete steps to reform domestic economic systems;
· Worked with other nations that serve as regional and global engines of growth such
as India, China, the ROK, Brazil, and Russia on reforms to open markets and ensure
· Urged China to move to a market-based, flexible exchange rate regime a step that
would help both China and the global economy; and
· Pressed for reform of the International Financial Institutions to focus on results,
fostering good governance and sound policies, and freeing poor countries from
Enhancing energy security and clean development. The Administration has worked
with trading partners and energy producers to expand the types and sources of energy, to
open markets and strengthen the rule of law, and to foster private investment that can
help develop the energy needed to meet global demand. In addition, we have:
· Worked with industrialized and emerging nations on hydrogen, clean coal, and
advanced nuclear technologies; and
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· Joined with Australia, China, India, Japan, and the ROK in forming the Asia-Pacific
Partnership for Clean Development and Climate to accelerate deployment of clean
technologies to enhance energy security, reduce poverty, and reduce pollution.
Several challenges remain:
· Protectionist impulses in many countries put at risk the benefits of open markets and
impede the expansion of free and fair trade and economic growth.
· Nations that lack the rule of law are prone to corruption, lack of transparency, and
poor governance. These nations frustrate the economic aspirations of their people by
failing to promote entrepreneurship, protect intellectual property, or allow their
citizens access to vital investment capital.
· Many countries are too dependent upon foreign oil, which is often imported from
unstable parts of the world.
· Economic integration spreads wealth across the globe, but also makes local
economies more subject to global market conditions.
· Some governments restrict the free flow of capital, subverting the vital role that wise
investment can play in promoting economic growth. This denies investments,
economic opportunity, and new jobs to the people who need them most.