The US Department of Commerce’s International Trade Office (ITA) has the following web page on “Ensuring Fair Trade”, a reading of which shows that “fair trade” means quite a different thing in the US than it does in Australia.
I particularly like the phrase “Unfair foreign pricing and government subsidies distort the free flow of goods and adversely affect American business in the global marketplace.” in the third para below – are they opposed only to “unfair” government subsidies or to government subsidies per se, and I wonder what they think non-US countries’ attitudes to the US Farm Bill.
Ah – questions, questions…
Ensuring Fair Trade
ITA monitors industry access to overseas markets and works to remove costly barriers to product and service exports. According to a University of Michigan study, the average U.S. family of four still stands to gain an estimated $7,800 per year if there was total elimination of global barriers to trade in goods and services. The World Bank has reported that the elimination of global trade barriers could lift 300-500 million of the world’s poor out of poverty over the next 15 years.
The International Trade Administration’s Market Access and Compliance (MAC) Unit’s objective is to obtain market access for American firms and workers and to achieve full compliance by foreign nations with trade agreements they sign with our country. In doing so, MAC is liberalizing trade has been shown to pull the world’s poor out of poverty and increase the standard of living for the average U.S. worker. Through the Trade Compliance Center, ITA is able to track specific cases where U.S. firms are experiencing barriers to entry or not receiving the full potential of negotiated agreements.
Unfair foreign pricing and government subsidies distort the free flow of goods and adversely affect American business in the global marketplace. When that happens, the International Trade Administration can take enforcement actions. ITA’s Import Administration is the agency’s lead unit on enforcing trade laws and agreements to prevent unfairly traded imports and to safeguard jobs and the competitive strength of American industry. From working to resolve disputes to implementing measures when violations are found, we are there to protect U.S. companies from unfair trade practices.