The Agreement, which entered into force on January 1, 2004, is the United States' first FTA with an Asian nation and the first FTA signed by President Bush. The U.S.-Singapore FTA expands U.S. market access in goods, services, investment, government procurement, intellectual property, and also promotes labor rights and the environment. This FTA further develops an already well-built commercial relationship with American's 12th largest trading partner This FTA will serve as the foundation for other possible FTAs in Southeast Asia.
Singapore hereby saves more than $115 million annually in tariff cuts since the United States is Singapore's second-largest export market. It also generates thousands of jobs in the service, support and manufacturing industries and induces more US companies and their investments to come to Singapore. It also has an economic offshoot to the other region besides Singapore as the US would be looking for similar deals with the rest of the Asian countries.
It also helps Singapore garment exports compete more effectively against those made in China or Indonesia. One advantage of the restructuring of the local textile/apparel industry is the greater use of synthetic fibers. This is expected to generate by-product for the local chemical industry which produces synthetic fibers such as lycra and rayon. (Tony Sitathan) At the same time the producers of these products bring foreign investment into Singapore. Singapore is now the third largest recipient of U.S. foreign direct investment in the Asia-Pacific, after Australia and Japan. The FTA also has helped to add momentum to Singapore's initiatives to develop as a regional and global hub for medical technology, financial services, and transport and shipping.
Similarly there are various benefits to the United States. (Statement as to how the united states-Singapore free trade agreement serves the interests of United States commerce). Singapore has committed to eliminating all outstanding tariffs on U.S to zero percent. Singapore's financial services sectors, such as banking and insurance are also accessible for U.S. businesses. The FTA also requires Singapore to lessen restrictions on U.S. law firms that plan to form joint law practices in Singapore. Further there are benefits for U.S. telecom service providers. At the same time world-class standards for protection are provided for various forms of intellectual property. Smooth and transparent access to Singapore's market is another benefit for the development of small and medium enterprises. Concrete obligations on customs procedures that will help U.S. cut down additional costs in exports market are also provided. Finally appropriate attention is also given to domestic laws providing for labor standards.
At the same time a comprehensive FTA between the United States and Korea will bring about significant economic benefits for both sides. (United States-Korea free trade agreement:a win-win proposition)
Korea is an important and attractive trade partner for the United States. It is the seventh largest trading partner and seventh largest export market, and sixth largest agricultural market for the United States. This promises a remarkable opportunity for U.S. businesses and workers. Second, there will be increased access