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Council of Economic Advisers Report Highlights Economic Benefits of Trade

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

(North American Meat Institute)

The Council of Economic Advisers (CEA) released a report touting the economic benefits of enhanced U.S. trade and free trade agreements. The report, which presents empirical evidence and an extensive review of economic literature, notes that U.S. business must overcome an average tariff hurdle of 6.8 percent, in addition to numerous other non-tariff barriers, to serve 95 percent of the world's consumers. The report also finds that export-intensive industries pay workers up to 18 percent more than non-export-intensive industries, translating to an additional $1,300 in annual earnings for the typical middle-class worker. The report reveals that when other countries make trade deals with China, outsourcing of American jobs increases, whereas U.S. trade agreements do not change the rate of U.S. investment abroad. Meanwhile, trade helps lower the gender wage gap and reduce pollution levels. The U.S. currently has a $43 billion agricultural trade surplus, and the agriculture sector employs nearly 1.5 million American workers, according to the report.

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