U.s.-Singapore Free Trade Agreement

The agreement has been supported by businesses and consumer organisations, but has been criticized by labour and some environmental interests. Some of the specific concerns raised relate to restrictions on sanctions for intractable labour and environmental disputes, the Integrated Sourcing Initiative, potential capital controls, temporary visas and access to U.S. chewing gum exports. A fundamental political question with respect to the free trade agreement is whether the United States should pursue free trade and investment relations on a bilateral basis, rather than maintaining existing trade and investment practices on both sides or pursuing more liberal trade relations in other ways. It is also the extent to which the language of the FTA should be used as a model for other agreements. Negotiations on the free trade agreement between the United States and Singapore began in December 2000 under the Clinton administration. The free trade agreement would be the fifth such agreement signed by the United States and the first with an Asian country. According to the U.S. Trade Representative, the free trade agreement has opened up new avenues over the years of e-commerce, competition policy and public procurement. It also contains what the U.S. Trade Representative claims to see as great progress in the areas of intellectual property protection, the environment, labour, transparency, customs cooperation and transshipments.

The free trade agreement between the United States and Singapore required congressional implementation as part of the Trade Promotion Authority`s expedited legislative procedures. It continues the trend towards greater trade liberalization and globalization and proposes a new approach to the imposition of sanctions in the event of intractable environmental and labour disputes; and may affect certain trade streams that, in turn, would affect U.S. companies. Given that Singapore is a relatively small economy, the economic effects of the U.S.-Singapore Free Trade Agreement alone should not be significant. The debate on the implementation of the free trade agreement is between trade and free trade interests, which would benefit from more liberal trade, particularly in the services sector, and opponents of work or globalization, who oppose more free trade agreements because of the overall impact of imports on employment and the overall impact of globalization on income distribution. , some jobs and the environment. Specific provisions of the agreement were also discussed. This report is updated if circumstances warrant. Singapore is a city-state in Southeast Asia, at the southern tip of Malaysia, and across the Strait of Malacca from Indonesia.

It has a population of 4.4 million, an area about 3.5 times larger than the District of Columbia, gross domestic product (GDP) of about $88 billion and a per capita income of about $20,600. It is a major trading country whose imports and imports generally exceed its GDP. Singapore has been a strong supporter of trade liberalization and supports the security role of the United States in Asia. The agreement focuses on promoting compliance through trade-friendly consultations and remedial measures, not on trade sanctions or other sanctions for non-compliance.

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