The United States has free trade agreements with 20 countries. These free trade agreements are based on the WTO agreement, with broader and stronger disciplines than those of the WTO. Many of our free trade agreements are bilateral agreements between two governments. But some, such as the North American Free Trade Agreement and the Dominican Republic-Central America-U.S. Free Trade Agreement, are multilateral agreements between several parties. WTO councils and committees are made up of all WTO members, except in a handful of cases. They monitor the implementation of WTO agreements and provide WTO members with a forum on trade policy issues. Detailed descriptions and texts of many U.S. trade agreements can be accessed through the Left Resource Center. WTO members monitor the implementation of WTO agreements through peer review of countries` trade policy – known as trade policy reviews – and regular reports on trade measures around the world. An important and essential part of the work of WTO members is to monitor the implementation of the agreements they have negotiated.
Transparency is the key. They discuss their laws, measures and other issues within the various Councils and committees, including information they have been forced to share through communication to the WTO. All WTO members must also be subject to regular peer review of their trade policies and practices, each trade policy review, WTO secretariat and country reports, and comments from other members at the meeting. More recently, the WTO secretariat has regularly prepared reports on monitoring world trade, in which countries apply trade measures in response to the changing economic climate. Another important type of trade agreement is the Trade and Investment Framework Agreement. TIFA provides a framework for governments to discuss and resolve trade and investment issues at an early stage. These arrangements are also a means of identifying and working, if necessary, for capacity building. The United States is a member of the World Trade Organization (WTO) and the Marrakesh Agreement establishing the World Trade Organization (WTO) contains rules for trade among the 154 members of the WTO. The United States and other WTO members are currently participating in the WTO negotiations on development in Doha and a strong and open Doha agreement on both goods and services would go a long way in managing the global economic crisis and restoring the role of trade in promoting economic growth and development. USTR is primarily responsible for the management of U.S. trade agreements.