Free Trade Agreements (FTA) are voluntary programs which offer significant duty savings for eligible goods when imported into the U.S. market. For U.S exporters, FTAs help companies increase their competitive edge by allowing reduced or duty free access on eligible goods when exported to FTA partner countries.
A fundamental goal of U.S. trade agreements is to reduce barriers to U.S. exports, protect U.S. interests and enhance the rule of law in FTA partner countries. The reduction of trade barriers and the creation of a more stable and transparent trading and investment environment make it easier and cheaper for U.S. companies to export their products and services to trading partner markets. Free Trade Agreements permit mutual gains for partner countries in the trade of goods and services.
FTAs have established guidelines that require goods to meet specific rules of origin. These rules of origin vary, depending on the partner agreement and the commodity.
As of 2015, the United States has 14 Free Trade Agreements with 20 countries.