Key Points:

  • The new U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) report looks at trade deals approved since 1984, including the North American Free Trade Agreement in 1994, the World Trade Organization in 1995, and a series of bilateral and regional trade agreements over the past 20 years. It also examined the one-year-old U.S.-Canada-Mexico Agreement, which replaced the original NAFTA.
  • Congress ordered the report as part of the 2015 Trade Promotion Authority law, which expires on Thursday.
  • The Trade Promotion Authority law facilitates the approval of trade agreements by allowing the president to submit them to Congress for a straight up-or-down vote without any amendments.
  • Using 2017 as its base year, the ITC estimated the trade deals had increased U.S. economic output by $88.8 billion or 0.5%.
  • The trade pacts increased overall U.S. employment by 485,000 full-time equivalent jobs or 0.3%, based on a model that assumes the economy is at its long-run full employment level.