The International Trade Administration estimates that one in five manufacturing jobs is tied to exports of manufactured products, and for each of those manufacturing jobs there is also 1.3 non-manufacturing jobs tied to manufacture exports.
It is in the best interests of the United States for policymakers to take steps to leverage this multiplier effect - including finding new opportunities to boost our exports through free-trade agreements. According to the National Association of Manufacturers, FTAs account for almost half of our manufactured exports. In fact, over the past few years we have averaged $25bn in annual trade surpluses with our FTA partners, while averaging over $400bn in annual trade deficits with the rest of the world. That's because this country's barriers to trade in manufactured goods are far lower than other countries', especially those in critical emerging markets. Our tariffs on manufactured goods, for example, average less than 2 percent, and 70 percent of all goods enter this country duty-free. So when we negotiate free-trade agreements, it almost always accrues to the benefit of American manufacturers.
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