Singapore Mti Free Trade Agreements

9. (return) AFL-CIO. The cost of unfair trade. c2003. www.aflcio.org/issuespolitics/globaleconomy/trade.cfm. The United States has already concluded free trade agreements with Canada, Mexico, Israel and Jordan and is negotiating free trade agreements with Central America, Australia, Morocco, the Customs Union for Southern Africa and Bahrain. The United States is also a member of APEC, an organization that pursues free trade and investment in the Pacific, and has negotiated with 33 other countries in the Western Hemisphere for the establishment of a free trade area in the United States. Given the tendency to negotiate more free trade agreements, the agreement with Singapore would give Singapore a status substantially identical to that of other nations that already benefit (or could benefit from it) from free trade with the United States. In reviewing the free trade agreement in the sector, the Industry Sector Advisor Committee on Textiles and Apparel indicated that the greatest interest and clear distribution among committee members was the rules of origin and whether they could set a precedent for other trade agreements. Members of fibre, yarn and textiles have largely supported the requirements of a draft yarn rule that confers benefits only on the signatories of the agreement and not on third parties. They believe that this condition is an appropriate precedent for future trade agreements and, considering that it is broadly comparable to the North American Free Trade Agreement, could create parity among U.S.EGOCIATIONs.

However, the industry has expressed concern about what it sees as high levels of tariffs in the phases of the agreement, which could undermine the rules of origin in the early years of the agreement. (23) The free trade agreement links investor protection to standards developed under common international law, but environmentalists and business representatives have reported differences in what this standard means and whether it sets parameters that exceed or do not exceed the standard of U.S. law (TPA or fast track negotiators must not exceed). With respect to indirect expropriation, the free trade agreement contains the test used by the U.S. Supreme Court for the acquisition of regulations. The Singapore Free Trade Agreement differs from the various clarifications made to the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) because it requires Singapore and the United States to treat investors in accordance with “international law” and not “international law.” This is the wording of NAFTA, which has been read by NAFTA participants to include obligations under other international agreements such as the World Trade Organization. Such interpretations are explicitly rejected in the Singapore Free Trade Agreement by the insertion of a text stating that a violation of other provisions of the free trade agreement or other international agreements does not constitute a violation of the minimum standard of treatment.

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