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U.S.-Singapore Trade Fact Sheet

Text: U.S.-Singapore Trade Fact Sheet

(Free Trade Agreement to expand trade in service sectors) (530)

Following is the text of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) fact sheet on U.S.-Singapore trade, released November 16:

(begin text)

U.S.-Singapore Trade Fact Sheet

Singapore was the 10th largest trading partner and export market for the United States in 1999, while the United States was Singapore's largest market. Singapore's tariffs affecting most U.S. products are zero, and the average U.S. tariff on Singapore's products is less than 1 percent. Trade between the United States and Singapore totaled $34.4 billion last year, up 34 percent since 1998. U.S. exports to Singapore are particularly robust in high-technology sectors, including electronic components, scientific and medical equipment, and telecommunications and computer equipment, and in chemicals. Singapore is also a significant destination for U.S. exports of aircraft and aircraft parts. U.S. main imports from Singapore were high-tech equipment, chemicals, petroleum products, and apparel.

Despite certain Singapore services restrictions-such as on the right of establishment of new banks and law firms-the United States maintained a services trade surplus of $2 billion with Singapore in 1999. The affiliated trade (trade between parent companies and their foreign affiliates), information technology services, engineering, legal and financial services comprised most of this surplus. The free trade agreement negotiations will focus on removing Singapore's services restrictions and expanding U.S. business opportunities.

The United States leads in foreign investment in Singapore, accounting for 45 percent of new investment in the manufacturing sector in 1999. As of 1998, cumulative investment for manufacturing and services by American companies in Singapore reached approximately $19.8 billion (total assets). The bulk of U.S. investment is in electronics manufacturing, oil refining and storage, and chemicals.

Singapore strongly supports free trade and the multilateral trading system. Singapore has worked closely with the United States in promoting further trade liberalization globally and in multilateral fora. It has pursued among the most liberal trade and investment policies in the world, which are key factors underlying its strong and stable economy. With the exception of tariffs on four alcoholic beverage products, it applies no tariffs.

Nonetheless, there are key areas that the United States would like to address in free trade negotiations. The United States has concerns regarding Singapore's protection and enforcement of intellectual property. Singapore also has a substantial services sector and is moving toward higher value-added services, in which U.S. companies are particularly competitive. U.S. services providers and investors could benefit from the enhanced access in a number of services sectors, including environmental, engineering, telecom, financial, courier, distribution, educational, architecture, and other professional services that would result from such an agreement.

Both the United States and Singapore are committed to strong environmental protection and labor rights. Singapore has one of the most stringent environmental management regimes in the region, as its government has placed a high premium on maintaining environmental quality and ensuring the implementation of strong anti-pollution policies. Singapore also has strong labor laws, protecting the rights of its workers to form associations and to organize and bargain collectively.

(end text)

(Distributed by the Office of International Information Programs, U.S. Department of State. Web site: http://usinfo.state.gov)


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