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U.S. Department of State

Diplomacy in Action

Sidebar on Economic Diplomacy

Bureau of Resource Management
February 24, 2012


While economic diplomacy has always been part of our foreign and development policy, the Administration continues to emphasize its importance to promote domestic and international economic prosperity - most notably through the State Department's "Economic Statecraft" agenda, unveiled by Secretary Clinton in 2011. This is a time when U.S. diplomacy and global leadership must be harnessed for domestic economic renewal. U.S. economic growth will increasingly rely upon our ability to excel overseas, making economic diplomacy all the more vital to our foreign policy efforts.

The Department of State and USAID are realizing these goals through new partnerships, bilateral investment treaties, intellectual property protection, anti-corruption efforts, engagement with multilateral organizations, international best practices, enhancing development effectiveness, and infrastructure investment, among others. Removing trade barriers is an important tool for global growth. By pursuing new trade agreements, implementing existing ones and enforcing international trade laws, we help level the playing field for U.S. companies and ensure market access for U.S. workers, businesses, farmers and ranchers. Three major trade agreements were passed in 2011, with the Republic of Korea, Panama and Columbia.

The U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement (KORUS) will help American workers, farmers and ranchers by increasing exports of our manufacturing and agricultural exports to Korea, which already support 200,000 American jobs and many small businesses. The trade agreement with Panama also will support American jobs, since Panama is one of the fastest-growing economies in Latin America. This comprehensive agreement will eliminate tariffs and other barriers to U.S. exports, and will provide access to Panama's $20.6 billion services market. Colombia's economy is the third largest in Central and South America. The U.S.-Colombia Trade Promotion Agreement will expand exports of U.S. goods alone by more than $1.1 billion through tariff reductions, supporting thousands of American jobs, and potentially increasing U.S. GDP by $2.5 billion. The conclusion of these three major trade agreements was the result of a multi-year effort. They will significantly benefit the U.S. economy and the economies of our trading partners, thus enhancing global growth.


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