Original Press Release
NAM Says Growing Exports Underscore Importance Of Free Trade Agreements
Press release date: September 11, 2008
Surplus with Free Trade Agreement Partners Growing Rapidly, Says Vargo
WASHINGTON, D.C., September 11, 2008 - The latest trade report confirms that exports of U.S. manufactured goods continue to rise, and the surplus with free trade partners continues to grow, said National Association of Manufacturers Vice President for International Economic Affairs Frank Vargo.
"July manufactured goods exports soared 22 percent over last July's figures, putting manufactured goods exports so far this year at $669 billion, up 16 percent over last year," said NAM Vice President for International Economic Affairs Frank Vargo. "Manufactured goods imports so far this year are $933 billion, and the resulting $264 billion trade deficit is 15 percent lower than last year.
"U.S. Free Trade Agreement (FTA) partners continue to be the shining part of the U.S. trade picture, with a rapidly-growing surplus," Vargo said. "So far this year our manufactured goods trade surplus with NAFTA, CAFTA, and our other free trade partners is in surplus by $8.1 billion - that's an annual rate of $14 billion, which is up from last month's rate." Vargo added that the trade balance improved with each of the U.S. FTA partners other than Israel.
"Many people have been led to believe we have a terrible trade position with our FTA partners and are unaware that our manufactured goods trade with them is in surplus," said Vargo. "And that's a shame, because if they knew, they would join the NAM in asking Congress to pass the remaining FTA's so we could have our exports increase even more.
"America's manufacturers are expanding their exports so rapidly that so far this year, manufactured goods exports are accounting for 75 percent of the total increase in America's merchandise exports," Vargo said. "Our export growth is offsetting the negative effects of the housing crunch and is helping keep our economy growing," he said. "The lesson is clear - free trade agreements are the solution, not the problem."
The National Association of Manufacturers is the nation's largest industrial trade association, representing small and large manufacturers in every industrial sector and in all 50 states. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., the NAM has 11 additional offices across the country. Visit the NAM's award-winning web site at www.nam.org for more information about manufacturing and the economy.
HANK COX (202) 637-3090