Published

February 22, 2017

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U.S. Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Thomas J. Donohue issued the following statement today as the 110th country ratified the World Trade Organization’s (WTO) Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA), allowing the agreement to enter into force and be implemented:

“This groundbreaking agreement will unleash new trade flows and spur growth around the world by cutting red tape and easing the movement of goods across borders.  It’s a welcome shot in the arm for the U.S. and world economies.

“Some of the biggest beneficiaries will be American small and medium-sized businesses. They are the backbone of our economy, but their exports too often get tied up in the maze of bureaucratic and international border procedures. The TFA breaks down these barriers to spur economic growth by streamlining and simplifying trade requirements.

“The WTO estimates the TFA could boost world trade by $1 trillion and help create over 20 million jobs around the world. However, we can only unlock these benefits if every country is committed to the implementation process.

“Today’s actions are the culmination of years of hard work, and we have achieved an important goal. However, the most difficult work still remains. We will continue to work with our partners across the globe to implement the agreement and urge others to join us in order to create opportunities for business to prosper.”

The TFA will streamline customs procedures to facilitate the passage of goods across borders, boosting transparency, cutting administrative costs, enhancing security, and leveraging modern IT tools. Negotiations for the agreement were completed in December 2013, and the United States ratified it in January 2015.