US-Singapore Free Trade Agreement Passes Decade Milestone


The U.S.-Singapore Free Trade Agreement (USSFTA) took effect on January 1, 2004 and continues to support U.S. jobs and exports. Signed by President George W. Bush, the USSFTA was the first U.S. Free Trade Agreement (FTA) for the United States with an Asian country. Currently, the United States has 14 FTAs with 20 countries which resulted in $718 billion of U.S. goods exports in 2012. Nearly half of all U.S. exports went to FTA partner countries that year.

The FTA between the U.S. and Singapore keeps tariffs for U.S. goods at zero, prevents Singapore from increasing duties on US imports, and increases export opportunities for U.S. manufacturers for products ranging from medical instruments to textiles. Additionally, Singapore has strengthened labor and intellectual property rights and improved environmental standards.

Singapore is currently America’s 13th largest export destination. In 2013, the United States exported nearly $31 billion in goods and services to Singapore, resulting in a trade surplus of almost $13 billion. Total US-Singapore trade in goods between has grown by 53%, and for services it has more than doubled since the USSFTA was implemented in 2004 according to Channel NewsAsia, resulting in more job creation opportunities for Singaporeans.

Today, both the United States and Singapore are participants in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations. As the USSFTA begins its second decade, it remains to be seen if TPP will replace the current agreement. However, one fact does appear to be clear - both the United States and Singapore have benefited from their bilateral FTA over the past decade.