Name of Trade Agreement Between     Summary of Agreement Benefits Under Agreement
Agreement On Global Technical Regulations For Wheeled Vehicles, Equipment And Parts This Agreement establishes a process for the joint development of global technical regulations to ensure the safety, environmental protection, energy efficiency and anti-theft performance of wheeled vehicles, equipment and parts. These global regulations are intended to serve as the basis for national regulations, and the resulting convergence of technical standards can facilitate trade in these products. Contracting Parties to the Agreement are not obliged to adopt the global regulations, however, and their own national regulations can remain more, or less, stringent than the global ones.

The Economic Commission for Europe (UN/ECE) is one of the five regional commissions of the United Nations. Its goal is to promote economic cooperation among its members. Fifty-five countries are members of the UN/ECE– 53 countries of Western and Eastern Europe, plus the United States and Canada.

Countries that are members of UN/ECE and regional economic integration organizations that have been established by UN/ECE members, as well as other members of the United Nations, can become Contracting Parties to this Agreement. It was opened for signature on June 25, 1998, and the United States, which signed it on that day, was the first country to sign it. The Agreement entered into force on August 25, 2000. It has no expiration date, although a Contracting Party may withdraw on one year’s notice.

As of June, 2009, there are 31 Contracting Parties to the Agreement: Australia, Azerbaijan, Canada, China, Cyprus, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, India, Italy, Japan, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Moldova, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Republic of Korea, Romania, Russian Federation, Slovakia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Tunisia, Turkey, United Kingdom, United States, European Community.

 

By promoting the harmonization of technical regulations which may result in compatible standards, this Agreement can save time and money for U.S. exporters. By promoting higher levels of safety, environmental protection energy efficiency and anti-theft performance, the Agreement may also result in standards that benefit consumers.
Agreement on Mutual Acceptance of Oenological Practices This agreement comes from the WTO on April 15, 1994 and eases restrictions countries must have concerning oenological practices by respective laws, regulations and requirements for wine to better facilitate trade between nations:

Argentina
Australia
Canada
Chile
New Zealand
South Africa
United States of America

 

Easier to import/export wine
between:

Argentina
Australia
Canada
Chile
New Zealand
South Africa
United States of America

 

Albania Trade Relations Agreement Trade Agreement between US and Albania providing most favored nation and nondiscriminatory treatment, market access for products and services, expansion and promotion of trade, protection of intellectual property rights, market disruption safeguards, and settlement mechanism for disputes. Free trade and protection of IP
Argentina Bilateral Investment Treaty Formally called “Treaty Between the Government of the United States of America and the Government of (Country) Concerning the Encouragement and Reciprocal Protection of Investment.” They are commonly called Bilateral Investment Treaties or BITs.  The agreement is between the US and dozens of Eastern European and Western Asian countries.

A Bilateral Investment Treaty is designed to ensure that U.S. investors receive national or most favored nation treatment (whichever is better) in the other signatory country. It protects U.S. investors against performance requirements, restrictions on transfers and arbitrary expropriation. BITs set forth procedures for the settlement of disputes. By providing a more open and secure environment for investment, they also promote private sector development.

The Office of the United States Trade Representative and the Department of State jointly lead BIT negotiations, with assistance from the Department of Commerce and the Treasury. BITs must receive the advice and consent of the Senate before they are ratified and enter into force. They remain in force for ten years and then continue in force unless one of the Parties terminates them. One year’s written notice to the other Party is required for termination.

BITs are currently in force between the United States and the following 39 countries. (Dates of entry into force are in parentheses.)

The following links will open up the text of each Treaty in a new browser window:

The Treaty that entered into force in 1992 for the Czech and Slovak Federal Republic has been in force for the Czech Republic and Slovakia as separate states since January 1, 1993.

Treaties have been concluded with the following countries but have not yet entered into force: Belarus, El Salvador, Haiti, Nicaragua, Russia and Uzbekistan. The U.S. Government is also negotiating additional Bilateral Investment Treaties. As Treaties enter into force, they will be added to the TCC’s web site.

 

If a Bilateral Investment Treaty is in effect between the United States and another country, any U.S. company or national investing or planning to invest in that country can benefit from that Treaty. A unique feature of U.S. BITs is that protection for investors is provided from the pre-investment phase through the life of the investment.
Armenia Trade Relations Agreement
Australia Free Trade Agreement
Austria Friendship, Commerce and Consular Rights Treaty
Azerbaijan Bilateral Investment Treaty* The formal name for this type of agreement is: “Treaty Between the Government of the United States of America and the Government of (Country) Concerning the Encouragement and Reciprocal Protection of Investment.” They are commonly called Bilateral Investment Treaties or BITs.

A Bilateral Investment Treaty is designed to ensure that U.S. investors receive national or most favored nation treatment (whichever is better) in the other signatory country. It protects U.S. investors against performance requirements, restrictions on transfers and arbitrary expropriation. BITs set forth procedures for the settlement of disputes. By providing a more open and secure environment for investment, they also promote private sector development.

The Office of the United States Trade Representative and the Department of State jointly lead BIT negotiations, with assistance from the Department of Commerce and the Treasury. BITs must receive the advice and consent of the Senate before they are ratified and enter into force. They remain in force for ten years and then continue in force unless one of the Parties terminates them. One year’s written notice to the other Party is required for termination.

BITs are currently in force between the United States and 39 other countries.

 

If a Bilateral Investment Treaty is in effect between the United States and another country, any U.S. company or national investing or planning to invest in that country can benefit from that Treaty. A unique feature of U.S. BITs is that protection for investors is provided from the pre-investment phase through the life of the investment.
Azerbaijan Trade Relations Agreement
Bahamas Letter of Understanding on the Copyright Act and Regulations
Bahrain Bilateral Investment Treaty

 

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Bahrain Free Trade Agreement
Bangladesh Bilateral Investment Treaty

 

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Belarus Trade Relations Agreement
Belgium Friendship, Establishment and Navigation Treaty
Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works
Bolivia Bilateral Investment Treaty
Bosnia And Herzegovina Commercial Relations Treaty
Brunei Peace, Friendship, Commerce and Navigation Treaty
Bulgaria Agreement On Trade Relations

 

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Bulgaria Bilateral Investment Treaty

 

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Bulgaria Intellectual Property Rights Agreement
Cambodia Trade Relations & Intellectual Property Rights Agreement
Cameroon Bilateral Investment Treaty
Canada Agreement On Beer Market Access In Quebec And British Columbia
Canada Agreement on Government Procurement
Canada Agreement Regarding Tires
Canada Magazines Agreement By resolving a lengthy dispute between the United States and Canada over discriminatory measures that the Canadian Government had adopted to protect its publishing industry, this Agreement has significantly increased opportunities for U.S. and other foreign magazine publishers to generate advertising revenue in the Canadian market.

Canada agreed to ease its restrictions on U.S. and other foreign publishers who wish to sell “split run” magazines in Canada. Split runs are magazines that have Canadian editions with foreign editorial content, but with advertising aimed at Canadian readers. It also agreed to liberalize foreign investment restrictions in the magazine publishing sector and to amend tax laws that discriminated against foreign publishers.

The Agreement is in the form of an exchange of letters dated June 3, 1999, between the U.S. Trade Representative and the Canadian Ambassador to the United States. It has no expiration date.

 

Any U.S. or other foreign publisher who is interested in selling magazines in Canada with advertising directed at Canadian readers, or who wishes to invest in Canada, can benefit from this Agreement
Canada Memorandum Of Understanding On Provincial Beer Marketing Practices
Central American/Dominican Republic Free Trade Agreement
Chile Free Trade Agreement
Colombia Peace, Amity, Navigation, and Commerce Treaty
Congo, Democratic Republic Of (Kinshasa) Bilateral Investment Treaty
Congo, Democratic Republic Of (Kinshasa) Bilateral Investment Treaty
Congo, Republic Of (Brazzaville) Bilateral Investment Treaty
Congo, Republic Of (Brazzaville) Bilateral Investment Treaty
Costa Rica Friendship, Commerce and Navigation Treaty
Croatia Bilateral Investment Treaty
Croatia Commercial Relations Treaty
Czech Republic Bilateral Investment Treaty
Denmark Friendship, Commerce, and Navigation Treaty
Ecuador Bilateral Investment Treaty
Egypt Bilateral Investment Treaty
Estonia Bilateral Investment Treaty
Ethiopia Amity And Economic Relations Agreement
EU Wine Agreement
European Union Distilled Spirits And Spirit Drinks Agreement
European Union Humane Trapping Standards Agreement
European Union MOU On Public Procurement (1995)
European Union Negotiations/GATT Article XXIV:6 Agreement (1987)
European Union Negotiations/GATT Article XXIV:6 Agreement (1987)
uropean Union Negotiations/GATT Article XXIV:6 Agreement (1996)
European Union Pasta Agreement
European Union Tariff Initiative On Distilled Spirits
European Union Understanding on Bananas
Finland Friendship, Commerce, and Consular Rights Treaty
France Navigation and Commerce Treaty
Georgia Bilateral Investment Treaty
Georgia Trade Relations Agreement
Germany Friendship, Commerce, and Navigation Treaty
Greece Friendship, Commerce, and Navigation Treaty
Grenada Bilateral Investment Treaty
Honduras Bilateral Investment Treaty
Hungary Intellectual Property Rights Agreement
India Motion Pictures Agreement In a letter dated February 20, 1992, the Indian Government informed the U.S. Government that — in response to a U.S. request — India had agreed to eliminate a number of restrictions on the importation and distribution of motion pictures, prints and video cassettes, giving U.S. and other foreign exporters greater access to the Indian film market.

The trade liberalizing measures described in the Letter took effect on April 1,1992. They have no expiration date.

 

All U.S. and other foreign motion picture companies and their trade associations wishing to export motion pictures and video cassettes to India or distribute them there can benefit from this Agreement.
Indonesia Conditions For Market Access For Films And Videos In this Agreement, the Indonesian Government described steps that it intended to take to improve market access for imported films and videos. The Agreement followed several meetings at which representatives of the U.S. and Indonesian Governments discussed Indonesia’s restrictive policies. The Agreement has eased some restrictions, but others remain.

The Agreement is in the form of an exchange of letters dated April 29, 1992, between the U.S. Trade Representative and Indonesia’s Minister of Trade.

 

Any U.S. or other foreign company that wishes to export motion pictures or video cassettes to Indonesia or distribute them there can benefit from the limited steps that Indonesia has taken to improve market access.
Inter-American Convention Against Corruption
International Dolphin Conservation Program Agreement
Ireland Friendship, Commerce and Navigation Treaty
Israel Free Trade Agreement This bilateral trade Agreement eliminates customs duties between the United States and Israel.

It was signed in 1985 and came into full effect on January 1, 1995. Although the Agreement has no expiration date, it can be terminated by written notification of either party.

 

Under this Agreement, American companies exporting U.S. goods to Israel can gain greater market access, reduce transaction costs, increase sales, enhance export revenues and become more competitive in the Israeli marketplace. Israeli companies exporting their goods to the U.S. receive similar benefits.
Israel Friendship, Commerce and Navigation Treaty
Israel Market Opening Measures Agreement
Italy Friendship, Commerce, and Navigation Treaty
Jamaica Intellectual Property Rights Agreement
Japan–Tokyo Declaration On Global Partnership With The US
Japan Actions To Be Taken By The Patent Offices
Japan Agreement Clarifying The Framework Agreement The U.S.-Japan Framework for a New Economic Partnership provided a structure for ongoing consultations and negotiations between the two governments which have produced a series of important bilateral trade and investment agreements. The Framework’s goals were:

to address structural and sectoral issues in order to achieve a substantial increase in access and sales of competitive foreign goods and services to the Japanese market;

to increase foreign investment in Japan; and

to promote bilateral cooperation on global issues.

The Agreement is in the form of a joint statement by President Clinton and Japanese Prime Minister Miyazawa released on July 10, 1993 on the occasion of a visit by the President to Tokyo. While it has no expiration date, it is subject to periodic review by the two governments.

 

A variety of American companies interested in exporting to Japan or investing there can benefit from the agreements that have been concluded pursuant to the Framework Agreement.
Japan Computer Products And Services Agreement The purpose of this Agreement is to expand the Japanese Government’s procurement of competitive computer products and services from the United States and other foreign countries. Japan agreed that its procurement would be based on the principles of non-discrimination, transparency and fair and open competition.

The Agreement is in the form of an exchange of letters and an attachment dated January 22, 1992, between the U.S. Trade Representative and the Ambassador of Japan to the United States. It entered into force in stages, a process that was completed by April, 1993. It has no expiration date.

 

Any U.S. company interested in supplying computer hardware, software or services to a national government department or quasi-governmental organization in Japan that is specified in this Agreement can benefit from Japan’s commitment to open, non-discriminatory procurement procedures.
Japan Distilled Spirits Agreement Under this Agreement, Japan confirmed that it was revising its liquor tax law so that imports of distilled spirits from the United States and other countries would no longer be taxed at a discriminatory level compared with Japanese shochu (a traditional distilled spirit similar to vodka). Japan also agreed to eliminate tariffs on all brown spirits (including whisky and brandy) and on vodka, rum, liqueurs, and gin by April 1, 2002. In addition, Japan confirmed that it would neither grant nor maintain subsidies on behalf of shochu producers that impede or displace distilled spirit imports.

The Agreement followed the resolution of a dispute settlement case brought before the World Trade Organization (WTO) by the European Communities, the United States and Canada in 1995. A WTO dispute settlement panel found in July of 1996 that Japan’s liquor tax regime discriminated against imported distilled spirits and was therefore inconsistent with Japan’s obligations under Article III of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, 1994. The United States was forced to seek binding arbitration when it became apparent that Japan did not intend to bring its tax system into WTO compliance within the “reasonable period” provided under WTO rules. A WTO arbitration award was issued in February, 1997, that supported the position of the United States, and further bilateral consultations between the United States and Japan led to this Agreement.

The Agreement consists of an exchange of letters dated December 15, 1997, between the Japanese Ambassador to the United States and the U.S. Trade Representative. It has no expiration date.

 

The Agreement can benefit any U.S. or other foreign producer of whisky, rum, gin, vodka, brandy or liqueurs who wishes to export to Japan
Japan Economic Partnership
Japan Enhanced Initiative on Deregulation and Competition Policy The U.S.-Japan Enhanced Initiative on Deregulation and Competition Policy, commonly known as the Enhanced Initiative, set up a process for U.S. and Japanese officials to address the reform of laws, administrative guidance and regulations that serve as barriers to foreign goods and services.

President Clinton and former Prime Minister Hashimoto announced the Enhanced Initiative in June, 1997. It has no expiration date. The Initiative is an ongoing process.

In response to requests by the U.S. Government under the Enhanced Initiative, a significant number of Japan’s regulatory barriers have been removed. Expert-level groups examine five sectors of the Japanese economy: telecommunications, housing, medical devices and pharmaceuticals, financial services and energy. A structural group covers issues related to distribution, competition policy, legal services, transparency and other government practices. A group of high-level officials has met periodically to review progress and resolve disagreements.

 

Any American company exporting goods or services to Japan in the sectors covered by the Enhanced Initiative can benefit from the deregulation process that has occurred. Many U.S. companies have already found it easier to enter and compete in the Japanese marketplace as a result of the Initiative.
Japan Foreign Lawyers Agreement The U.S.-Japan Agreement on Foreign Lawyers enables American lawyers to establish offices and provide legal counsel in Japan as foreign legal consultants.

The Agreement, consisting of an exchange of letters between the Japanese Ambassador and the Office of the United States Trade Representative, became effective on April 1, 1987. It has no expiration date.

In April 2005 the Government of Japan (GOJ) lifted restrictions to allow foreign lawyers to practice law jointly with Japanese lawyers. Previously foreign lawyers had very limited ability to practice in Japan. This stunning change came about in response to goals set by the GOJ in 2001 to reform its justice system, and in response to new business practices as a result of globalization. The shift signalled a new era of openness to foreign investors by the GOJ and was a critical step forward. This article from the Japan External Trade Organization’s (JETRO) Japan Economic Monthly highlights the regulatory change and gives a general background on other legislative moves to improved legal services. For more information about JETRO, please go to: http://www.jetro.go.jp/

 

This Agreement benefits American law firms and attorneys who want to provide legal services in Japan. It can also benefit U.S. and other foreign companies in Japan, and U.S. companies interested in exporting to Japan, by enabling them to seek legal advice from American lawyers who are established in Japan.
Japan Framework Agreement The U.S.-Japan Framework for a New Economic Partnership provided a structure for ongoing consultations and negotiations between the two governments which have produced a series of important bilateral trade and investment agreements. The Framework’s goals were:

to address structural and sectoral issues in order to achieve a substantial increase in access and sales of competitive foreign goods and services to the Japanese market;

to increase foreign investment in Japan; and

to promote bilateral cooperation on global issues.

The Agreement is in the form of a joint statement by President Clinton and Japanese Prime Minister Miyazawa released on July 10, 1993 on the occasion of a visit by the President to Tokyo. While it has no expiration date, it is subject to periodic review by the two governments.

 

A variety of American companies interested in exporting to Japan or investing there can benefit from the agreements that have been concluded pursuant to the Framework Agreement.
Japan Friendship Commerce And Navigation Treaty
Japan Grademarked Lumber Agreement By issuing this Certificate, the Japanese Ministry of Construction agreed to recognize U.S. grademarks for certain American lumber exports to Japan for use in construction. Japanese standards approval is no longer required for these exports. The Certificate has reduced costs and delays and has greatly increased access for American lumber mills to Japan’s large housing construction market.

This Certificate was issued on January 6, 1997. It has no expiration date.

 

Any U.S. company interested in exporting lumber to Japan for use in Japan’s construction industry can benefit from this Certificate, if the lumber is produced from certain species of trees and grademarked by one of the regional inspection agencies accredited by the American Lumber Standards Committee (ALSC).
Japan Insurance Measures (1994) In two agreements signed in 1994 and 1996, the Japanese Government committed to improving market access for foreign insurance providers by reforming the laws, regulations and administrative guidance that have impeded access in the past. Japan has the second largest insurance market in the world after the U. S. The foreign share of that market as of the end of 1998 was 4.9 per cent.

The Agreements consist of exchanges of letters between the U.S. Trade Representative and the Japanese Ambassador to the United States dated October 11, 1994, and December 24, 1996. They have no expiration dates. The Japanese Government has bound most of the commitments that it made in these bilateral Agreements under the WTO Understanding on Commitments in Financial Services.

 

Any U.S. (or other foreign) insurance company that wants to sell its products and services in Japan can benefit from the deregulating that is occurring in connection with these Agreements.
Japan Insurance Supplementary Measures (1996)
Japan International Value-Added Network Services Agreement
Japan Major Projects Arrangement The goal of the U.S.-Japan Major Projects Arrangements, commonly known as the MPA, is to enable foreign firms to become more familiar with the Japanese construction market, thereby facilitating greater access to that market. Japan agreed in the MPA that open, transparent and nondiscriminatory procedures would be followed in the procurement of goods and of construction, design and consulting services for certain designated, large-scale construction projects. These projects are listed in an Appendix to the Arrangements. Both public and private projects are included.

The Major Projects Arrangements are set forth in an exchange of letters dated July 31, 1991, between the Japanese Ambassador to the United States and the Secretary of Commerce. The 1991 Arrangements expanded the projects covered by a 1988 agreement, which it replaced.

The MPA will be terminated when the last of the designated construction projects is completed. The Japanese Government will still be obliged to extend nondiscriminatory treatment to foreign companies bidding for government contracts, however, under the U.S.-Japan Public Works Agreement, concluded in January of 1994, and under the WTO Agreement on Government Procurement, which entered into force in January of 1996.

 

Any U.S. or other foreign company that is interested in providing goods or construction, design or consulting services for one of the MPA’s designated projects can benefit from these Arrangements.
Japan Measures Regarding Financial Services
Japan Medical Technology Arrangement This Arrangement is designed to increase opportunities for foreign companies to sell medical technology products and services in the Japanese government procurement market. The Arrangement covers procurement by Japanese ministries, other government entities and certain quasi-governmental organizations.

The Japanese Government agreed that its public sector procurement procedures for medical technology products and services would be non-discriminatory, transparent, fair and open to all foreign suppliers. Foreign companies would be entitled to the “national” treatment that is given to Japanese firms competing for the same procurement opportunities.

The Arrangement, the full name of which is “Measures Related to Japanese Public Sector Procurement of Medical Technology Products and Services”, is in the form of an exchange of letters dated November 1, 1994, with two Appendices. The first Appendix sets out the Measures; the second contains Operational Guidelines related to the Measures.

Since the Arrangement was concluded, the United States and Japan have held annual meetings to review its implementation. These meetings are scheduled to take place until the end of Japanese fiscal year 2000 (March 31, 2001), when the two governments will decide whether they should be continued.

 

Any foreign company interested in exporting medical technology products or services to Japan’s public sector may benefit from the rules and procedures for government contracts that are set forth in this Arrangement.
Japan Mutual Understanding On Patents
Japan Ports And Harbor Practices Agreement The U.S.-Japan Port and Harbor Practices Agreement addresses problems faced by U.S. shipping lines using Japanese ports. It includes revised procedures for consultations between carriers and terminal operators regarding the employment and working conditions of port labor. Licensing procedures used by Japan’s Ministry of Transport for port transportation business have been streamlined. These steps were taken against a broader background of a commitment by Japan to deregulate port transportation service — a commitment that is being closely monitored by the U.S. Government.

The Agreement consists of an exchange of letters dated November 10, 1997, between the Secretary of State and the Japanese Ambassador to the United States. It has no expiration date. The Agreement resulted from discussions between senior U.S. and Japanese maritime transport officials in October of 1997. It confirmed and expanded on measures set forth in a Memorandum of Consultation signed by the two governments in April of 1997.

 

Any U.S. (or other foreign) shipping company using Japanese ports can benefit from the deregulation of Japan’s port transportation services and specific provisions of this Agreement.
Japan Public Sector Procurement Of Telecommunications Products And Services Agreement This Agreement offers new opportunities for American (and other foreign) telecommunications companies to sell their products and services to central government entities and quasi-governmental organizations in Japan.

The Japanese Government agreed that its public sector procurement procedures for telecommunications products and services would be non-discriminatory, transparent, competitive and open to all foreign suppliers. Foreign companies would be entitled to the fair, “national” treatment that is given to Japanese firms competing for the same procurement opportunities. In other words, the Japanese Government has committed itself not to favor Japanese firms over foreign suppliers with regard to procurement covered by the Agreement.

The Agreement was concluded on November 1, 1994. The measure is still in force and has no expiration date. However, the consultative mechanism allowing the two countries to meet formally on an annual basis to discuss the measures expired on March 31, 2001.

 

Any American (or other foreign) company interested in exporting telecommunications products or services to Japan’s public sector can benefit from the procurement opportunities covered by this Agreement.
Japan Public Works Agreement (1994) The U.S.-Japan Public Works Agreement incorporates measures aimed at reforming bidding and contracting procedures for public works procurement in Japan in order to enhance transparency, objectivity and competition, and to strengthen the application of the principle of nondiscrimination. The Agreement provides that Japan’s central government and quasi-governmental entities will use open and competitive bidding procedures to procure construction, design and consulting services for public works, and that prefectural governments and the governments of Japan’s twelve largest cities will be “encouraged” to use similar procedures. The Agreement only applies to public works, not private sector projects, and it only applies to services, not goods.

The Public Works Agreement is in the form of an exchange of letters dated January 19, 1994, between the Japanese Ambassador to the United States and the U.S. Secretary of Commerce. The exchange incorporates a Japanese Government’s Action Plan on Reform of the Bidding and Contracting Procedures for Public Works. The Agreement has no expiration date.

 

Any U.S. company that is interested in providing construction, design or consulting services to Japan’s public works sector can benefit from this Agreement.
Japan Report On Medical Equipment And Pharmaceuticals Market-Oriented, Sector-Selective (MOSS) Discussions In these discussions, Japan and the United States reached an agreement that gives American exporters of pharmaceutical products and medical devices greater access to Japan’s health-care market. This agreement is commonly known as the “MOSS”, because the approach that was adopted by the negotiators was called “Market-Oriented, Sector-Selective”.

The MOSS agreement was signed on January 9, 1986. It has served since then as the basis for ongoing bilateral discussions to improve market access for American exporters. It has no expiration date.

 

y American company interested in exporting medical devices and pharmaceuticals to Japan can benefit from the MOSS agreement. It has already helped many U.S. exporters and has been instrumental in the trade surplus in these products that the U.S. enjoys with Japan.
Japan Resolution Of WTO Dispute On Sound Recordings
Japan Satellite Procurement Agreement The U.S.-Japan Satellite Procurement Agreement has increased opportunities for U.S. and other foreign companies to supply satellites, other than research and development (R&D) satellites, to the Japanese Government and to Japanese entities whose procurement is subject to direct or indirect government control. The Japanese Government agreed to procurement procedures for non-R&D satellites that are open, transparent and non-discriminatory. Broadcast satellites procured by Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corporation (NTT) and the government-owned television/radio service (NHK) are covered by this Agreement.

The Agreement is in the form of an exchange of letters dated June 15, 1990 between the U.S. Trade Representative and the Japanese Ambassador to the United States. It has no expiration date.

 

Any U.S. satellite manufacturer interested in supplying non-R&D satellites to the Japanese Government or to entities whose procurement is subject to government control can benefit from this Agreement. Between 1990 and 1997, U.S. companies won all five satellite contracts that were openly bid under the Agreement’s procedures. The combined value of these contracts was over one billion dollars.
Japan Science And Technology Agreement
Japan Structural Impediments Initiative Interim Report
Japan Structural Impediments Initiative Joint Report
Japan Supercomputer Procurement Agreement
Japan Wood Products Agreement
Jordan Bilateral Investment Treaty
Jordan Free Trade Agreement
Kazakhstan Bilateral Investment Treaty
Kazakhstan Trade Relations Agreement This Agreement laid the basis for an expansion of trade between the United States and Kazakhstan by providing for reciprocal most favored nation (MFN) treatment for each country’s products. (MFN means treatment no less favorable than that accorded to products from any third country.) The Agreement also facilitates the establishment and operation of company offices and strengthens intellectual property protection. Procedures are provided to enable each country to protect its domestic industries against market disruption caused by a rapid rise in imports from the other country. Guidelines for the settlement of disputes arising from commercial transactions are also provided.

This Agreement entered into force on February 18, 1993. A virtually identical agreement was concluded between the United States and the Soviet Union in June of 1990. Following the Soviet Unions’s dissolution, separate agreements with the same provisions and minor variations in the side letters were concluded with each of the Newly Independent States. Like the others, the U.S.-Kazakhstan Agreement will remain in force for successive periods of three years, unless one Party informs the other at least 30 days prior to the expiration of a three-year term of its intent to terminate the Agreement.

 

Any U.S. company interested in exporting to Kazakhstan or doing business there can benefit from this Agreement.
Korea Commitments On Trade In Telecom Goods And Services These commitments on telecommunications policy, described in a statement issued by Korea’s Ministry of Information and Communication on July 14, 1997, provide for non-discriminatory, “national” treatment of foreign companies, the elimination of tariffs, increased foreign ownership of domestic companies, more transparency in government regulations and procedures and stronger protection for intellectual property and proprietary information. These commitments have given U.S. and other foreign suppliers of telecommunications equipment and services the right to increased access to Korea’s fast-growing telecommunications market.

The commitments were published after a year-long negotiation between the U.S. and Korean governments, and they are the latest in a series of bilateral telecommunications agreements. They supplement the market-opening steps taken by Korea under the WTO Information Technology Agreement, which entered into force on March 13, 1997, and the WTO Basic Telecommunications Services Agreement, which entered into force on January 1, 1998.

 

Any U.S. or other foreign company interested in supplying telecommunications equipment or services in Korea can benefit from these commitments.
Korea Exchange of Letters on Data Protection
Korea Free Trade Agreement
Korea Friendship, Commerce and Navigation Treaty
Korea Intellectual Property Rights & Insurance Understandings
Korea International Value-Added Network Services Agreement These commitments on telecommunications policy, described in a statement issued by Korea’s Ministry of Information and Communication on July 14, 1997, provide for non-discriminatory, “national” treatment of foreign companies, the elimination of tariffs, increased foreign ownership of domestic companies, more transparency in government regulations and procedures and stronger protection for intellectual property and proprietary information. These commitments have given U.S. and other foreign suppliers of telecommunications equipment and services the right to increased access to Korea’s fast-growing telecommunications market.

The commitments were published after a year-long negotiation between the U.S. and Korean governments, and they are the latest in a series of bilateral telecommunications agreements. They supplement the market-opening steps taken by Korea under the WTO Information Technology Agreement, which entered into force on March 13, 1997, and the WTO Basic Telecommunications Services Agreement, which entered into force on January 1, 1998.

 

Any U.S. or other foreign company interested in supplying telecommunications equipment or services in Korea can benefit from these commitments.
Korea Investment Agreement
Korea Letter On Telecommunications Procurement These commitments on telecommunications policy, described in a statement issued by Korea’s Ministry of Information and Communication on July 14, 1997, provide for non-discriminatory, “national” treatment of foreign companies, the elimination of tariffs, increased foreign ownership of domestic companies, more transparency in government regulations and procedures and stronger protection for intellectual property and proprietary information. These commitments have given U.S. and other foreign suppliers of telecommunications equipment and services the right to increased access to Korea’s fast-growing telecommunications market.

The commitments were published after a year-long negotiation between the U.S. and Korean governments, and they are the latest in a series of bilateral telecommunications agreements. They supplement the market-opening steps taken by Korea under the WTO Information Technology Agreement, which entered into force on March 13, 1997, and the WTO Basic Telecommunications Services Agreement, which entered into force on January 1, 1998.

 

Any U.S. or other foreign company interested in supplying telecommunications equipment or services in Korea can benefit from these commitments.
Korea Market Access For Cigarettes Record Of Understanding
Korea Market Access For Wine And Wine Products Agreement
Korea Memorandum Of Understanding Regarding Foreign Motor Vehicles In the U.S.-Korea Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) Regarding Foreign Motor Vehicles in the Republic of Korea, the Korean Government agreed to implement a variety of measures to improve market access for U.S. and other foreign automobile exporters. (In 1999, sales of American and European cars totaled 2,401, or 0.26 per cent of the Korean market.)

This Agreement was signed on October 20, 1998, by the Acting U.S. Trade Representative and the Korean Ambassador in Washington. It revised and expanded an earlier MOU that had been signed in September of 1995. It has no expiration date.

 

Any U.S. or other foreign company wishing to export automobiles to Korea can benefit from this Agreement.
Korea Motion Pictures Importation And Distribution Agreement
Korea Record Of Understanding On Telecommunications–2/17/92 These commitments on telecommunications policy, described in a statement issued by Korea’s Ministry of Information and Communication on July 14, 1997, provide for non-discriminatory, “national” treatment of foreign companies, the elimination of tariffs, increased foreign ownership of domestic companies, more transparency in government regulations and procedures and stronger protection for intellectual property and proprietary information. These commitments have given U.S. and other foreign suppliers of telecommunications equipment and services the right to increased access to Korea’s fast-growing telecommunications market.

The commitments were published after a year-long negotiation between the U.S. and Korean governments, and they are the latest in a series of bilateral telecommunications agreements. They supplement the market-opening steps taken by Korea under the WTO Information Technology Agreement, which entered into force on March 13, 1997, and the WTO Basic Telecommunications Services Agreement, which entered into force on January 1, 1998.

 

Any U.S. or other foreign company interested in supplying telecommunications equipment or services in Korea can benefit from these commitments.
Korea Revised Cigarette Agreement
Korea Telecom Issues –Equipment And Procurement–3/27/95
Korea Telecommunications Market Access Agreement (4/96)
Kyrgyzstan Bilateral Investment Treaty
Kyrgyzstan Bilateral Investment Treaty
Laos Bilateral Trade Relations Agreement
Latvia Bilateral Investment Treaty
Luxembourg Friendship, Establishment and Navigation Treaty
Macedonia (Former Yugoslav Republic Of) Commercial Relations Treaty
Madagascar Navigation and Commerce Treaty
Malta Commerce and Navigation Treaty
Mexico Agreement Regarding Test Data Acceptance
Mexico Measures Affecting Telecommunications Services
Mexico Tequila Trade Agreement
Mexico Tires Certification Agreement
Moldova Agreement On Trade Relations
Moldova Bilateral Investment Treaty
Mongolia Bilateral Investment Treaty
Montenegro Commercial Relations Treaty
Morocco Bilateral Investment Treaty
Morocco Free Trade Agreement
Mozambique Bilateral Investment Treaty
Nepal Friendship and Commerce Agreement
Netherlands Friendship, Commerce, and Navigation Treaty
Nicaragua Intellectual Property Rights Agreement
North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA)
North American Free Trade Side Agreement On Environmental Cooperation
North American Free Trade Side Agreement On Labor Cooperation
Norway Friendship, Commerce and Consular Rights Treaty
OECD Convention on Combating Bribery This Convention requires its Parties, under their national laws, to criminalize the bribery of foreign public officials in international business transactions and to impose criminal penalties on those who give, offer or promise any such bribes.

The Convention entered into force on February 15, 1999. The following 38 countries are Parties: Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Korea, Luxembourg, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, the Slovak Republic, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, the United Kingdom and the United States. For the latest update on countries that have ratified the Convention,

 

All U.S. exporters and investors will benefit from this important treaty which has reduced bribery in the international marketplace. Bribery and corruption are unfair business practices that distort trade and place honest companies at a competitive disadvantage. This Convention requires countries to criminalize bribery of foreign officials under their domestic laws, and is aimed at ensuring that companies win contracts on the superiority of their products or services, not because of illegal bribes.

 

Oman Amity, Economic Relations And Consular Rights Treaty
Oman Free Trade Agreement
Pakistan Friendship and Commerce Treaty
Panama Bilateral Investment Treaty
Paraguay Friendship, Commerce and Navigation Treaty
Paraguay Intellectual Property Rights MOU
Paraguay Intellectual Property Rights MOU
Paris Convention
People’s Republic Of China Foreign Financial Companies Interim Agreement On Market Access
People’s Republic Of China Intellectual Property Rights Memorandum Of Understanding–1995 Action Plan
People’s Republic Of China Intellectual Property Rights Memorandum Of Understanding–1992
People’s Republic Of China Market Access Memorandum Of Understanding
People’s Republic Of China Trade Relations Agreement
Peru Memorandum Of Understanding On IPR
Peru Trade Promotion Agreement
Philippines Intellectual Property Rights Understanding
Poland Business and Economic Relations Treaty
Romania Agreement On Trade Relations This Agreement establishes a framework for the development and expansion of commercial relations between the United States and Romania. The Agreement improves market access for goods and services, facilitates the establishment and operation of company offices and strengthens intellectual property protection. Procedures are provided to enable each Party to protect its domestic industries against market disruption caused by a rapid rise in imports from the other country. Guidelines for the settlement of disputes arising from commercial transactions are also included.

The Agreement was signed in Bucharest by the U.S. Ambassador to Romania and the Romanian Minister of Commerce and Tourism on April 3, 1992, and it entered into force on November 8, 1993, after it had been approved by the U.S. Congress. It remains in force for successive periods of three years, unless one Party informs the other at least 30 days prior to the expiration of a three-year term of its intent to terminate the Agreement.

 

Any U.S. company or individual interested in exporting to Romania or doing business there can benefit from the provisions of this Agreement that promote and facilitate trade between the United States and Romania.
Romania Bilateral Investment Treaty
Russia Agreement On Firearms And Ammunition
Russia Memorandum of Understanding On Aircraft Market Access In this Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), the Russian Federation agreed to take trade liberalizing steps, such as tariff reductions and tariff waivers, to enable its airlines to import American and other non-Russian civil aircraft on a nondiscriminatory basis.

This Agreement was signed by Vice President Gore and Russian Prime Minister Chernomyrdin on January 30, 1996. It has no expiration date.

 

American companies that export or lease aircraft can benefit from this Agreement. The Agreement also applies to American exporters of aircraft components and could benefit them, although it has not done so to date.
Russia Trade Relations Agreement And Annexes Concerning Settlement Of Lend-Lease Accounts And Status Of Commercial Office In Moscow This Agreement laid the basis for an expansion of trade between the United States and Russia by providing for reciprocal most favored nation (MFN) treatment for each country’s products. (MFN means treatment no less favorable than that accorded to products from any third country.) The Agreement also facilitates the establishment and operation of company offices and strengthens intellectual property protection. Procedures are provided to enable each country to protect its domestic industries against market disruption caused by a rapid rise in imports from the other country. Guidelines for the settlement of disputes arising from commercial transactions are also provided.

A trade agreement was originally concluded between the United States and the Soviet Union on June 1, 1990, and approved by the U.S. Congress in November, 1991. Technical adjustments were made to that agreement in order to reflect the establishment of an independent Russia, and the current Agreement incorporates those adjustments. It entered into force on the basis of an exchange of diplomatic notes on June 17, 1992. No further Congressional approval was required. This Agreement will remain in force for successive periods of three years, unless one Party informs the other at least 30 days prior to the expiration of a three-year term of its intent to terminate the Agreement

 

Any U.S. company interested in exporting to Russia or doing business there can benefit from this Agreement.
Saudi Arabia Diplomatic And Consular Representation; Juridical Protection, Commerce And Navigation Agreement
Rwanda Bilateral Investment Treaty
Semiconductors Joint Statement Noting that they have achieved virtually barrier-free trade in semiconductors among themselves, the Parties to this Joint Statement Concerning Semiconductors pledge that they will seek a world environment free of barriers to trade and investment. The Parties are all signatories of the Information Technology Agreement of the World Trade Organization (WTO), which entered into force in March of 1997 and which provides for the elimination of all import duties on semiconductors and certain other information technology products.

The Parties hold regular meetings with industry representatives and among themselves to discuss issues that could affect the global outlook for semiconductor production and trade. They endorse policies — including the protection of intellectual property, positive approaches to basic scientific research and the promotion of appropriate regulatory policies — aimed at expanding global demand for semiconductors.

The original Parties to this Statement were the United States, Japan, Korea and the European Commission. Chinese Taipei has subsequently become a Party.

The Statement was announced at a meeting in Brussels on June 10, 1999, and issued on August 2, 1999, when a 1996 Joint Statement on Semiconductors by the United States and Japan expired.

A new Joint Statement was signed on September 26th 2006. China and Chinese Taipei were

 

Any manufacturer of semiconductors in the United States or one of the other Parties can benefit from the mutual understanding and cooperation that is fostered by this Joint Statement.
Senegal Bilateral Investment Treaty
Serbia Commercial Relations Treaty
Singapore Free Trade Agreement
Slovakia Bilateral Investment Treaty
Slovenia Commercial Relations Treaty
Spain Friendship and General Relations Treaty
Sri Lanka Bilateral Investment Treaty
Sri Lanka Intellectual Property Rights Agreement
Suriname Friendship, Commerce, and Navigation Treaty
Switzerland Friendship, Reciprocal Establishments, Commerce, and Extradition Convention
Taiwan Agreement On Export Performance Requirements
Taiwan Agreement On Intellectual Property Protection (Trademark)
Taiwan Agreement On Market Access
Taiwan AIT-CCNAA Agreement Concerning Trade Matters (With Annexes)
Taiwan Beer, Wine And Cigarettes Agreement
Taiwan Copyrights/Trademarks/IPR Understandings–AIT And CCNAA Copyright Agreement
Taiwan Copyrights/Trademarks/IPR Understandings–CCNAA and AIT IPR Understanding
Taiwan Customs Valuation Agreement
Taiwan Friendship, Commerce, And Navigation Treaty
Taiwan Government Procurement Understanding
Taiwan Medical Device Issue: List Of Principles
Taiwan Telecommunications Liberalization–Agreed Minute
Tajikistan Trade Relations Agreement
Thailand Amity and Economic Relations Treaty
Togo Amity and Economic Relations Treaty
Trinidad And Tobago Bilateral Investment Treaty
Trinidad And Tobago Intellectual Property Rights Agreement
Tunisia Bilateral Investment Treaty
Turkey Bilateral Investment Treaty
Ukraine Trade Relations Agreement
United Kingdom Commerce and Navigation Treaty
Uruguay Bilateral Investment Treaty
Uzbekistan Trade Relations Agreement
Vietnam Bilateral Trade Agreement
Vietnam Establishment Of Copyright Relations Agreement http://tcc.export.gov/Trade_Agreements/All_Trade_Agreements/exp_005415.asp Vietnam Establishment Of Copyright Relations Agreement
West Bank And Gaza Duty-Free Treatment Of Products
World Intellectual Property Organization Geneva (WIPO) Copyright Treaty
WIPO Performances And Phonograms Treaty
WTO: Agreement On Government Procurement The Agreement on Government Procurement of the World Trade Organization (WTO), commonly known as the GPA, establishes a framework of rights and obligations for government procurement among the WTO members that have signed it. The signatories have agreed that suppliers of goods and services in other signatory countries will be treated no less favorably than domestic suppliers in procurement covered by the Agreement, and that their laws, regulations and procedures relating to government procurement will be transparent and fair.

The current signatories to this Agreement (as of July, 2010) are: Canada, Chinese Taipei, the European Union — whose member states are Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, The Netherlands (including Aruba), Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom — Hong Kong, Iceland, Israel, Japan, Norway, South Korea, Liechtenstein, Singapore, Switzerland, and the United States. Any other WTO member government can accede to this Agreement on terms agreed by that government and the current signatories.

The WTO Agreement on Government Procurement (GPA) was first concluded in 1979 under the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT). It was revised and expanded as a WTO Agreement which entered into force on January 1, 1996. It has no expiration date.

 

Any company in a signatory country that wants to sell goods or services covered by the GPA to a procuring entity in another signatory country that is listed in Appendix I of the GPA can benefit from this Agreement. The World Trade Organization estimates that the value of government procurement opportunities covered by the Agreement is worth several hundred billion dollars annually.
WTO: Agreement On Trade-Related Aspects Of Intellectual Property Rights
WTO: Agreement On Trade In Civil Aircraft
WTO: Basic Telecommunications Services Agreement
WTO: China Accession Agreement
WTO: Final Act-Results Of The Uruguay Round
WTO: General Agreement On Trade In Services The General Agreement on Trade in Services of the World Trade Organization (WTO), commonly known as the GATS, established a multilateral framework of rules and principles for trade in services, a large and fast-growing segment of world trade. It also set in motion a process for the progressive removal of restrictions on international services trade.

The GATS was a major accomplishment of the Uruguay Round of Multilateral Trade Negotiations, and it is incorporated as an annex to the Marrakesh Agreement Establishing the World Trade Organization, which was signed at the Round’s conclusion. That Agreement along with the GATS entered into force on January 1, 1995. It has no expiration date. All WTO member governments (offsite link) are subject to the GATS.

The GATS is designed to ensure that the laws and regulations that WTO member governments apply to services trade are transparent and fair. Its key market-opening element is the Schedule of Specific Commitments that each signatory annexed to the GATS as an integral part of the Agreement. In these Schedules, which resulted from negotiations that took place during the Uruguay Round, signatories identified the extent to which they would accord full market access and national treatment in specific service sectors.

The Schedules, however, were only a first step in the complex process of liberalizing services trade, and many countries continue to impose limitations and conditions on both market access and national treatment. These restrictions are specified in each country’s Schedule. Continuing services negotiations that are taking place under the GATS are aimed at removing these limitations and conditions.

 

Any company in the United States that is interested in supplying a service to a consumer in (or from) another WTO member country can benefit from the disciplines that have been established by the GATS and the market-opening negotiations that are being carried out under its auspices.
WTO: Information Technology Agreement Under the Information Technology Agreement, commonly known as the ITA, participants have eliminated all import duties on a wide range of information technology (IT) products. A list of the current signatory countries, which account for approximately 95 per cent of world trade in IT products, and a list of the few countries that have been allowed to delay their duty reductions on a handful of products, can be found in How can this Agreement help my company?

The six main categories of goods receiving duty-free status are computers, telecommunications equipment, semiconductors, semiconductor manufacturing equipment, software, and scientific equipment.

The ITA was negotiated under the World Trade Organization (WTO) and was signed at a WTO Ministerial Conference in Singapore on December 13, 1996. It went into effect on March 13, 1997. It has no expiration date.

 

This Agreement can benefit any company that wishes to export any of the information technology products specified in the Agreement to any of the signatory countries. The elimination of duties promotes reduced transaction costs, greater market access, increased sales and enhanced export revenues.
WTO: Marrakesh Agreement Establishing The World Trade Organization The Agreement Establishing the World Trade Organization, commonly known as the “Marrakesh Agreement”, was signed in Marrakesh, Morocco, on April 15, 1994, at the conclusion of the Uruguay Round of Multilateral Trade Negotiations.

This Agreement defines the scope, functions and structure of the World Trade Organization (WTO). The agreements previously negotiated under the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT), along with agreements concluded during the Uruguay Round, were incorporated as integral parts of the Marrakesh Agreement and are included in its Annexes. These agreements are now considered to be WTO agreements.

All WTO members are parties to the Marrakesh Agreement, including countries that have joined the WTO since it was signed.

This Agreement entered into force on January 1, 1995. It has no expiration date.

 

While the Marrakesh Agreement itself does not apply directly to your company, the WTO agreements in its Annexes provide a comprehensive set of rules designed to make it easier to compete in today’s global marketplace. Full texts of all WTO agreements, including those concluded since the WTO was established, can be found in the TARA database of the Trade Compliance Center of the U.S. Department of Commerce.
WTO: Marrakesh Protocol
WTO: Multilateral Agreements On Trade In Goods
WTO: Multilateral Agreements On Trade In Goods – Agriculture
WTO: Multilateral Agreements On Trade In Goods – Antidumping The Anti-Dumping Agreement of the World Trade Organization (WTO), commonly known as the AD Agreement, governs the application of anti-dumping measures by WTO member countries.

A product is considered to be “dumped” if it is exported to another country at a price below the normal price of a like product in the exporting country. Anti-dumping measures are unilateral remedies (the imposition of anti-dumping duties on the product in question) that the government of the importing country may apply after a thorough investigation has determined that the product is, in fact, being dumped, and that sales of the dumped product are causing material injury to a domestic industry that produces a like product.

All members of the WTO (offsite link) are parties to this Agreement, whose full name is the “Agreement on Implementation of Article VI of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade 1994”. It went into effect on January 1, 1995. Pursuant to the Doha Ministerial Declaration, negotiations for the Anti-Dumping Agreement are currently underway. The agreement has no expiration date. The negotiations are scheduled to be completed by January 1, 2005.

 

Any company involved in international trade can benefit from clear and predictable rules for the application of anti-dumping measures.
WTO: Multilateral Agreements On Trade In Goods – Customs Valuation The Customs Valuation Agreement of the World Trade Organization (WTO) sets out a fair, uniform and neutral system for determining the value of imported goods on which customs officials levy duties. This system bars the use of arbitrary or fictitious customs values.

The Agreement was negotiated during the Uruguay Round of Multilateral Trade Negotiations, which was concluded in April of 1994. It elaborates and makes more precise Article VII of the Multilateral Agreements on Trade in Goods — GATT (1947) , and its official name is: “Agreement on Implementation of Article VII of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade 1994”.

All WTO members (offsite link) are Parties to this Agreement, which entered into force on January 1, 1995, and which has no expiration date.

http://tcc.export.gov/Trade_Agreements/All_Trade_Agreements/exp_005457.asp

Any company involved in international trade can benefit from the fair and predictable rules in this Agreement for the valuation of goods for customs purposes.
WTO: Multilateral Agreements On Trade In Goods – GATT 1947
WTO: Multilateral Agreements On Trade In Goods – Import Licensing The members of the World Trade Organization (WTO) have agreed to apply the procedures described in this Agreement when they grant import licenses. They have also agreed that these procedures should be administered in a fair and equitable manner.

All members of the WTO (offsite link) are parties to this Agreement.

The Agreement went into effect on January 1, 1995. It has no expiration date.

 

Any American company that exports goods to a WTO member country that requires import licenses for those goods can benefit from this Agreement.
WTO: Multilateral Agreements On Trade In Goods – Preshipment Inspection The Agreement on Preshipment Inspection of the World Trade Organization (WTO) provides that the preshipment inspection process should not give rise to unnecessary delays or unequal treatment. It establishes an agreed set of transparent procedures, including deadlines, for these inspections and creates an independent, impartial review body to resolve disputes between importers and preshipment inspection companies.

Preshipment inspections are used by many developing countries to inspect prospective imports before they are shipped from the exporting country. The private companies that carry out the inspections verify that the price, exchange rate, financial terms, quantity, quality and customs classification of the transaction are consistent with what was ordered.

The process is used by countries primarily because the customs services of these countries are not large enough to perform the full range of customs functions. Preshipment inspections can facilitate trade, but in some cases they have led to problems for exporters, including delays in shipments, disagreements over the quantity and quality of the goods that were ordered, and failure to protect confidential business and proprietary information. The WTO Agreement is designed to addresses such problems.

All WTO members are parties to this Agreement.

The Agreement entered into force on January 1, 1995. It has no expiration date.

 

Any American company exporting to a WTO member country that requires preshipment inspections can benefit from this Agreement.
WTO: Multilateral Agreements On Trade In Goods – Rules Of Origin The Rules of Origin Agreement of the World Trade Organization (WTO) requires that WTO members apply their rules of origin in an impartial, transparent, and consistent manner. The Agreement also requires that rules of origin not restrict, distort or disrupt international trade.

Rules of origin are the laws, regulations and administrative guidelines that governments use to determine an imported product’s country of origin not always an easy matter when the raw materials, manufacturing, processing or assembly of a product can be provided in several different countries. Rules of origin have many applications– for example in setting duty rates (including anti-dumping and countervailing duties), granting tariff preferences, administering government procurement policies and applying safeguards.

All WTO members (offsite link) are parties to this Agreement.

The Agreement entered into force on January 1, 1995. It has no expiration date.

 

Any company involved in international trade can benefit from clear and predictable rules of origin.
WTO: Multilateral Agreements On Trade In Goods – Safeguards The Agreement on Safeguards of the World Trade Organization (WTO) establishes rules for the application of safeguard measures by WTO member countries. A safeguard is a temporary import restriction (for example a quota or a tariff increase) that a country is allowed to impose on a product if imports of that product are increasing so as to cause, or threaten to cause, serious injury to a domestic industry that produces a similar or directly competitive product.

Under the WTO rules set forth in this Agreement, WTO member countries must conduct an investigation before they can apply a safeguard measure, and they must make a formal determination that imports of the product are significantly impairing or threatening to impair a domestic industry. Countries are also required to provide public notice to all interested parties of their intention to apply a safeguard measure and to give exporters ample opportunity to present their views.

All members of the WTO are parties to this Agreement.

The Agreement went into effect on January 1, 1995. It has no expiration date.

 

All U.S. companies conducting international business can benefit from this Agreement, which establishes strict ground rules for the application of safeguard measures. The Agreement’s notification requirements help to ensure that American exporters will be fully informed about the nature of any safeguard measure, the products it will cover and how long it will last. Under this Agreement, in the investigation that must precede the application of a safeguard measure, exporters may state their views, present evidence and respond to the presentations of other parties.
WTO: Multilateral Agreements On Trade In Goods – Sanitary/Phytosanitary
WTO: Multilateral Agreements On Trade In Goods – Subsidies/Countervailing
WTO: Multilateral Agreements On Trade In Goods – Technical Barriers One of the objectives of the Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) of the World Trade Organization (WTO) is to ensure that technical regulations, product standards and “conformity assessment procedures” (testing and certification procedures) do not create unnecessary obstacles to trade.

The TBT Agreement was negotiated during the Uruguay Round of Multilateral Trade Negotiations, which was concluded in April of 1994. It expanded on a more limited standards code which was adopted in a previous round of trade negotiations. All WTO members (offsite link) are Parties to the TBT Agreement, which entered into force on January 1, 1995, and which has no expiration date.

 

Any company in a WTO member country that is involved in international trade can benefit from certain provisions of the TBT Agreement. The Agreement contains transparency provisions that seek to reduce discriminatory or trade restrictive measures at an early stage in the regulatory process, so that U.S. companies are not faced with unnecessary obstacles to trade. These provisions contain notice and comment provisions that allow interested parties to request copies, review and comment on proposed technical regulations, standards and conformity assessment procedures that may have an impact on trade.
WTO: Multilateral Agreements On Trade In Goods – Textiles And Clothing
WTO: Multilateral Agreements On Trade In Goods – TRIMs Under the Agreement on Trade-Related Investment Measures of the World Trade Organization (WTO), commonly known as the TRIMs Agreement, WTO members have agreed not to apply certain investment measures related to trade in goods that restrict or distort trade.

The TRIMs Agreement prohibits certain measures that violate the national treatment and quantitative restrictions requirements of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT).

Prohibited TRIMs may include requirements to:

• achieve a certain level of local content;

• produce locally;

• export a given level/percentage of goods;

• balance the amount/percentage of imports with the amount/percentage of exports;

• transfer technology or proprietary business information to local persons; or

• balance foreign exchange inflows and outflows.

These requirements may be mandatory conditions for investment, or can be attached to fiscal or other incentives. The TRIMs Agreement does not cover services.

All WTO member countries (offsite link) are parties to this Agreement.

This Agreement went into effect on January 1, 1995. It has no expiration date.

 

Any U.S. company interested in conducting international trade or investment activities in any WTO member country can benefit from this Agreement.
WTO: Taiwan Accession Agreement
WTO: Understanding On Commitments In Financial Services The General Agreement on Trade in Services of the World Trade Organization (WTO), commonly known as the GATS, established a multilateral framework of rules and principles for trade in services, a large and fast-growing segment of world trade. It also set in motion a process for the progressive removal of restrictions on international services trade.

The GATS was a major accomplishment of the Uruguay Round of Multilateral Trade Negotiations, and it is incorporated as an annex to the Marrakesh Agreement Establishing the World Trade Organization, which was signed at the Round’s conclusion. That Agreement along with the GATS entered into force on January 1, 1995. It has no expiration date. All WTO member governments (offsite link) are subject to the GATS.

The GATS is designed to ensure that the laws and regulations that WTO member governments apply to services trade are transparent and fair. Its key market-opening element is the Schedule of Specific Commitments that each signatory annexed to the GATS as an integral part of the Agreement. In these Schedules, which resulted from negotiations that took place during the Uruguay Round, signatories identified the extent to which they would accord full market access and national treatment in specific service sectors.

The Schedules, however, were only a first step in the complex process of liberalizing services trade, and many countries continue to impose limitations and conditions on both market access and national treatment. These restrictions are specified in each country’s Schedule. Continuing services negotiations that are taking place under the GATS are aimed at removing these limitations and conditions.

 

Any company in the United States that is interested in supplying a service to a consumer in (or from) another WTO member country can benefit from the disciplines that have been established by the GATS and the market-opening negotiations that are being carried out under its auspices.
WTO: Understanding On Settlement Of Disputes
Yemen Friendship And Commerce Agreement