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Updated Fact Sheet: Job-killing Trade Deficits Surge Under FTAs: U.S. Trade Deficits Grow 568% With FTA Countries, but Decline 15% With Non-FTA Countries

By Public Citizen's Global Trade Watch

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The aggregate U.S. goods trade deficit with Free Trade Agreement (FTA) partners is more than six times as high as before the deals went into effect, while the aggregate trade deficit with non-FTA countries has actually fallen. The key differences are soaring imports into the United States from FTA partners and lower growth in U.S. exports to those nations than to non-FTA nations. Growth of U.S. exports to FTA partners has been 34 percent lower than U.S. export growth to the rest of the world since 2005 (the year before the median entry date of existing FTAs).

The aggregate U.S. trade deficit with FTA partners has increased by about $152.4 billion, or 568 percent, since the FTAs were implemented. In contrast, the aggregate trade deficit with all non-FTA nations has decreased by about $104.6 billion, or 15 percent, since 2005. Using the Commerce Department’s exports-tojobs ratio2 and counting imports and exports, the FTA trade deficit surge implies the loss of over 795,800 U.S. jobs net. The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) contributed the most to the widening FTA deficit. The U.S. trade deficit with Canada ballooned, and our surplus with Mexico turned into a more than $126.3 billion NAFTA goods and services deficit. More recent deals have led to similar results. Under the 2012 Korea FTA, the U.S. trade deficit with Korea has surged 30 percent.