/javascript" src="../static/js/analytics.js"> CalTrade Report - US, Singapore FTA Now in Effect US-Singapore Free Trade Agreement, CalTrade Report, free trade, tariffs - US, Singapore FTA Now in Effect - Agreement expected to introduce''sweeping''../">CalTrade Report Asia Quake Victims 01/01/04 – All US goods entering Singapore will now be duty-free with immediate effect, while the island-nation will further open up its economy to US-based companies; Singaporean exports to the US will have their tariffs reduced gradually over the next four years. - 01/01/04 – All US goods entering Singapore will now be duty-free with immediate effect, while the island-nation will further open up its economy to US-based companies; Singaporean exports to the US will have their tariffs reduced gradually over the next four years. - US, Singapore FTA Now in Effect US-Singapore Free Trade Agreement, CalTrade Report, free trade, tariffs - US, Singapore FTA Now in Effect

 

September 21, 2005

 

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US, Singapore FTA Now in Effect

Agreement expected to introduce''sweeping'' market liberalization as two-way trade now tops $34 billion annually

WASHINGTON, DC - 01/01/04 - President George Bush has signed a proclamation authorizing the January 1 implementation of the US-Singapore Free Trade Agreement (USSFTA) that he (below, right) and Singapore's Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong signed last May.

The agreement is expected to start a sweeping liberalization of trade in goods and services and enhance the protection of intellectual property rights with both countries completing the legal and administrative requirements to implement the accord.
 
Effective January 1, 78.7% of Singapore goods will immediately enjoy duty-free entry into the US, rising to 92% within four years.

All US goods entering Singapore will be duty-free with immediate effect. The agreement also calls for Singapore to further open up its economy to American companies.
 
Initial estimates show the Southeast Asian island-nation will save between $118 million and $176 million US dollars as a result.
 
Raymond Lim, Singapore's minister of state for foreign affairs and trade and industry, was recently quoted as saying that the USSFTA will initially boost Singapore's annual gross domestic product (GDP) by 0.5%.
 
He said the agreement is also likely to encourage hundreds of American companies to open regional offices in Singapore and use the city-state as a springboard for expansion into the Asian market.

There are already 1,300 American companies and 15,000 US nationals in Singapore, where private US investment is estimated at more than $27 billion. Two-way trade is estimated in excess of $34 billion.
 
The US-ASEAN Business Council, a Washington-based trade promotion group, has described Singapore as "one of our best friends in Asia."

The organization said the agreement will help "anchor the US in Southeast Asia" and send a strong and positive message of US commitment in the region.
 
For US firms, one immediate benefit is the opening up of Singapore's financial, insurance and legal services sectors.
 
US banks will be able to participate in retail banking and the quota on banking licenses for US banks will be lifted.
 
American law firms will also find it easier to form joint ventures with Singaporean firms and Singapore will recognize degrees from top US law schools for admission to the Singapore bar.

Singapore's free-trade pacts with Japan, Australia, New Zealand, and the European Free Trade Association have already entered into force with discussions currently underway with India, South Korea, Jordan, Canada, and Sri-Lanka, among others.

Over the past year, the US has completed free trade pacts with Chile and Central America with a framework recently crafted to form a Free Trade Agreement of the Americas.

In addition, the country already has free trade agreements with Israel, and Canada and Mexico (under the terms of the North American Free Trade Agreement), with FTA negotiations currently underway with Jordan, Morocco, Australia, the Middle East region, and several nations in the Caribbean.

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