Trade Partners

The 10 Best U.S. Trade Partners

If you’re like me, you watched the entire Public Hearing on U.S. Trade Deficits, all 7 hours, 38 minutes and 32 seconds. That’s after having downloaded quite a few PDFs of the 156 public submissions submitted prior to the Commerce Department-directed hearing.

OK, so you’re not like me.

Before I tackle the subject of this post — Which countries, exactly, are our best trade partners? — this note in my defense: I only downloaded 22 of the PDFs…

  • What the heck could the NFL have to say about the U.S. trade deficit?
  • And I was curious about the George W. Bush Institute’s thoughts. (Nothing from representatives of other presidents.)
  • And who knew there was an Animal Feed Industry Association or a Sweetener Users Association, which is not to impugn them or suggest they don’t play important roles in representing large industries that are both actively exporting, in the case of the former, and hampered by U.S. import restrictions, in the case of the latter?
  • Who knew there was a Pennsylvania Anthracite Council or a Tire Retread and Repair Information Bureau?
  • And what was the Wine Institute’s beef? And why wasn’t the beef industry whining? (At least not officially, in this case.) Somebody representing just about everything else you can eat or drink had something to say: Associations jumped in representing pork, catfish, shrimp, dairy, soybean, wheat, corn, Florida fruit and California peaches.

Which is to say that, in the end, trade is complicated.

That’s why it took nine or so years to get the 12 nations involved in the Trans-Pacific Partnership to agree on terms for each nation to take back for final approval.  (One of President Trump’s first actions as president was to withdraw from TPP.) That’s why candidate Trump was talking of China being a currency manipulator and raising the specter of 45 percent import tariffs and President Trump isn’t, why candidate Trump talked of ripping up NAFTA, the so-called worst trade deal ever, and President Trump is now moderating considerably even as he has taken formal steps to re-open negotiations.

The 10 Best U.S. Trade Partners

I analyze export-import data, connecting it to trade policy, life

If you’re like me, you watched the entire Public Hearing on U.S. Trade Deficits, all 7 hours, 38 minutes and 32 seconds. That’s after having downloaded quite a few PDFs of the 156 public submissions submitted prior to the Commerce Department-directed hearing.

OK, so you’re not like me.

Before I tackle the subject of this post — Which countries, exactly, are our best trade partners? — this note in my defense: I only downloaded 22 of the PDFs…

  • What the heck could the NFL have to say about the U.S. trade deficit?
  • And I was curious about the George W. Bush Institute’s thoughts. (Nothing from representatives of other presidents.)
  • And who knew there was an Animal Feed Industry Association or a Sweetener Users Association, which is not to impugn them or suggest they don’t play important roles in representing large industries that are both actively exporting, in the case of the former, and hampered by U.S. import restrictions, in the case of the latter?
  • Who knew there was a Pennsylvania Anthracite Council or a Tire Retread and Repair Information Bureau?
  • And what was the Wine Institute’s beef? And why wasn’t the beef industry whining? (At least not officially, in this case.) Somebody representing just about everything else you can eat or drink had something to say: Associations jumped in representing pork, catfish, shrimp, dairy, soybean, wheat, corn, Florida fruit and California peaches.

Which is to say that, in the end, trade is complicated.

That’s why it took nine or so years to get the 12 nations involved in the Trans-Pacific Partnership to agree on terms for each nation to take back for final approval.  (One of President Trump’s first actions as president was to withdraw from TPP.) That’s why candidate Trump was talking of China being a currency manipulator and raising the specter of 45 percent import tariffs and President Trump isn’t, why candidate Trump talked of ripping up NAFTA, the so-called worst trade deal ever, and President Trump is now moderating considerably even as he has taken formal steps to re-open negotiations.

 

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