U.S. free trade diplomacy with Australia and Singapore

U.S. free trade diplomacy with Australia and Singapore
U.S. free trade diplomacy with Australia and Singapore

U.S. free trade diplomacy with Australia and Singapore

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American Politics & Foreign Policy
This assignment asks you to employ a basic method of analysis common to the study of politics: the comparative case study. The comparative case study allows an analyst to compare two or more cases using standard questions and criteria. The paper will therefore require you to present an argument sustained across two different cases.
This basic analytical approach is a common and useful tool in many professional and academic research contexts, such as business, law, NGO work, government, and across the social sciences. It can be a valuable tool in your academic and professional career.
Topic: Explain U.S. foreign policy in two “cases.”
Task: Sustain an argument (thesis statement) using two cases of U.S. foreign policy decisions or behavior. You must develop a causal explanation based on what you are learning in the unit, and your own thoughts and insights. Some suggested approaches are:
Presidents are meaningfully constrained by public opinion in foreign policy decisions due to…..?In reality, Congress has been unable to check or balance Presidential foreign policy decisions since
1965 because….?Special interests such as economic actors or ethnic influence groups can dominate U.S. foreign
policy on issues important when….
Some possible pairs of cases are: U.S. relations with Indonesia under Suharto and under Yudhoyono; U.S. use of force in the Bosnian and Kosovo conflicts; U.S. relations with Canada and Australia; U.S. free trade diplomacy with Australia and Singapore; U.S. policy towards Africa under G.W. Bush and Obama…
Description: The essay should utilise following general format (or something similar):
. i) introduction and thesis statement ?
. ii) introduction of the cases chosen and rationale for their selection/utility ?
. iii) detailed examination of the cases based around the thesis statement; ?
. iv) discussion and synthesis of the results of the analysis for both cases; ?
. v) conclusion. ?
It is advisable to choose cases (that is, specific decisions or events in U.S. foreign relations) which and have clear relevance to the concept you choose. It is not necessary to include all aspects or details of a given case in your paper. Rather, you should focus on providing a “structured, focused comparison”1 of the two cases to examine one clear-cut proposition/argument. This means asking the same question (argument), using basically the same analytical approach (same kinds of evidence), across both cases.
1 Alexander L. George and Andrew Bennett. 2005. Case Studies and Theory Development in the Social Sciences. Cambridge, Mass.: The MIT Press.

You should limit your cases to a reasonable time period to make the analysis manageable. Narrow and precise cases are usually best.
Conclusion. You must state your conclusion clearly and concisely at the end of the paper, introducing no new information.
Formatting: 1.5 spacing, 11 or 12 point font. ?Word count: 2,500 words (excluding reference list). Papers outside the grace period of 10% over
or under this word count will attract a penalty of 5% per 100 words.
Writing and Referencing: Grammar, spelling, and correct citation format are all important aspects of writing a good paper and will be considered in the final grade. You may use in-text (such as Harvard) or footnote referencing style, but whichever one you choose must be used correctly and consistently.
Your essay will be assessed on its focus around a defensible thesis argument, appropriate scope, justification of cases, analytical rigour, clarity of expression, ability to keep to the word limit, evidence of research skills, evidence of reading, critical analysis, and correct citation of all sources and quotations.

It is actually due in 4 days time so if it were completed any sooner that would be greatly appreciated ! Cheers.


Comparative Case Study: U.S. free trade diplomacy with Australia and Singapore

An essential function of the American government is basically to carry out relations with over 180 other countries globally. Foreign policy determines the way the United States will conduct relations with other nations. U.S foreign policy is how the country interacts with other countries and creates standards of interaction for its corporations, organizations, as well as individual citizens. It is aimed at furthering particular goals (Pickering, 2011). In this comparative case study, standard questions and criteria are used in comparing two cases. An argument is presented with the use of 2 cases of U.S. foreign policy behaviour. In particular, the cases which are compared in this comparative case study are United States free trade diplomacy with Singapore and Australia. Thesis statement: the specifics of the United States free trade agreement with Australia is more or less the same as that of the agreement between the United States and Singapore since the United States in both Agreements seeks to further certain goals. America seeks to ensure greater access of American products into the Australian and Singaporean/Southeast Asian markets and allow American products to be more price-competitive within these markets when competing with local suppliers or suppliers from other countries.

U.S free trade diplomacy with Singapore and Australia

These cases were chosen since they are aimed at increasing trade between America and Singapore and between America and Australia. In essence, increased trade results in the creation of more jobs in America and it provides more opportunities for American companies. The United States shares a lot of strategic and fiscal interests with both Australia and Singapore. Just like with Australia, the United States has a longstanding relationship as well as essential investment and trade relationship with Singapore (Evans & Welch, 2015). The United States recognizes that competitive and open markets are important drivers of wealth creation, innovation and economic efficiency. America also recognizes the significance of liberalization of trade in services and goods at the multilateral level and understands the increasing significance of investment and trade for the economies of Australia, Singapore and other countries in the Asia-Pacific region (Maynes, 2010). As such, these cases were selected also because examining and analyzing them will help to shed more light on how America’s Free Trade Agreement with Australia contrasts or differs with the FTA agreement it has with Singapore. Moreover, examining these cases would provide important insight and expand knowledge on how the United States benefits from these agreements and how it advances America’s foreign policy.

Examination of the cases

  1. S free trade diplomacy with Australia

America has implemented fourteen free trade agreements with twenty nations around the globe. Free trade agreement (FTA) negotiations between Australia and the United States were finalized in the year 2004. Given that the FTA went into force in 2005 January, the FTA between Australia and America has resulted in a 104 percent rise in the United States trade surplus with Australia (Naoi & Urata, 2013). The FTA between America and Australia not only ensures greater access of Australian products into the American market, but it also improves the prospects for Australian investment and trade, as well as services. It also enhances the investment and regulatory environment between America and Australia, and fosters increased business mobility (Desker, 2010).

It is worth mentioning that America imported goods worth $9 billion from Australia and exported products worth $26 billion in the year 2013 (U.S. Department of State, 2015). Under the US-Australia FTA, the majority of Australian products get into America duty free and also free of merchandise processing fee, and almost all Australian goods would be exported to America free by the time the FTA is totally implemented by 1st January, 2022 (U.S. Customs and Border Protection, 2015).

Through the elimination of duty, the Australia-U.S Free Trade Agreement allows apparel and textile exporters from the United States to be more price-competitive within the Australian market when they compete with local suppliers as well as with suppliers from third world countries who have no duty benefits. By eliminating various non-tariff barriers, the Free Trade Agreement further opens the Australian market to goods from the United States (Aggarwal, 2013). It is notable that the Free Trade Agreement presents considerable benefits in an extensive variety of service sectors. It also serves to facilitate American investments through a stable business environment and predictable access. American companies, for the very first time in a number of sectors, would be permitted to compete for Australian government’s purchases on a fair, unbiased basis (Evans & Welch, 2015). American vendors can bid on contracts to supply to the territory, state and commonwealth government entities. The Commonwealth Government of Australia would get rid of its industry development programs, which stipulated that suppliers satisfy various prerequisites as conditions of their contracts (Aggarwal, 2013).

Under this Free Trade Agreement, duties on qualifying American apparel and textile goods that are exported to Australia have been removed or would be removed through gradual decreases over a set time period, on or before 1st January 2015. Every qualifying travel product is duty-free and all qualifying Australian footwear are free of duty with the exception of seventeen particular fabric/rubber and protective/plastic footwear items (Naoi & Urata, 2013). The Free Trade Agreement between America and Australia is a mutual tariff elimination accord. This means that qualifying travel goods, footwear, apparel and textile products imported into America from Australia are subject to similar duty rates as those for qualifying American exports to Australia. In order to make the most of the elimination or reduction of duty, goods have to qualify as originating products under the Agreement terms. Generally, the goods should have adequate Australian or American processing or content in order to meet the criteria (Aggarwal, 2013). Rules of Origin for Apparel and Textile Goods: the products should contain only Australian or American inputs. Even so, products that contain inputs from other nations may also qualify if they satisfy certain conditions specified in the FTA rules of origin. The rules for apparel and textile goods are commonly termed as yarn forward, which demands that the production of the yarn and every other operation forward take place either in America or Australia, although the fibre might come from another country. There are also Rules of Origin of Footwear and Non-textile travel products. For qualifying products where the Free Trade Agreement tariff benefits are requested, the importing company has to make a claim of reference. The importer has to state in writing that the product being imported actually qualifies as originating (Harris & Robertson, 2011).

The FTA between Australia and America has measures for ensuring that the originating products are not subject to fraud, for instance transhipment. Claims for preferential treatment under the Agreement are considered a declaration whose honesty and truth might be audited or confirmed by American and Australian custom officials. In case a preference has been claimed and the customs officials find out that the products do not qualify, the duty benefit would be lost and fine may be imposed (Harris & Robertson, 2011).

  1. S free trade diplomacy with Singapore

The FTA between Singapore and America was signed in May 2003 in Washington, DC. It entered into force in the year 2004. Since then, the United States trade surplus with Singapore has increased by over 800% to $12.7 billion. The export of American goods to Singapore was worth $30.6 billion whereas imports from Singapore were worth $17.8 billion in 2013 (U.S. Department of State, 2015). The FTA between Singapore and America has allowed exporters from both countries to benefit from tariff concessions. It has also helped both countries to attract investors and increase in competitiveness. It is worth mentioning that this FTA describes the obligations and duties of the Unites States and Singapore regarding a number of areas including customs procedures, services and goods, the environment, movement of people, as well as protection of intellectual property. Furthermore, it outlines the guidelines that can be used to settle disputes (Parinduri & Thangavelu, 2013).

The main aim of the United States-Singapore FTA is essentially to facilitate trade between these 2 nations through the elimination or reduction of tariffs. Exporters from either party could benefit from cost-savings in the following sectors: textiles, processed foods, information technology and electronics, chemicals and petrochemicals as well as precision instruments (Singapore Government, 2015). The Agreement also allows Singaporean suppliers to take part in many tenders of services and goods conducted by the government of the United States. Likewise, American suppliers can participate in tenders conducted by the government of Singapore. Singaporean suppliers are allowed to take part in procurement activities of nearly 100 federal entities in 37 states across America.

In the FTA, both the United States and Singapore also reached an agreement that each of them would take steps to execute Phases 1 and 2 of the APEC Mutual Recognition Arrangement (MRA) for Conformity Assessment of Telecommunications Equipment as regards the other country. In the Asian region, Singapore was the first nation to operate an MRA on telecommunication equipment certification with America (Singapore Government, 2015). It is worth mentioning that the Mutual Recognition Arrangement facilitates direct entry of telecommunication equipment into the market of either party without requiring extra testing and certification. Examples of these telecommunications equipment include Asymmetric Digital Subscriber modems, Wireless Broadband Access equipment, radio pagers and telephones (Singapore Government, 2015).

This FTA offers 100 percent coverage of Singaporean domestic exports to America and the elimination of tariffs. Under this Agreement, the United States and Singapore would each gradually remove its custom duties on the other party’s originating goods according to Annexes 2C (Singapore Schedule) and 2B (US Schedule). Originating goods refers to goods which are entirely produced or obtained within the territory of Singapore and/or the United States and have met the prerequisites stipulated in Annex 3A (Wolff, 2015). Annex 3C of the FTA provides a listing of products which are considered as re-manufactured products that are also considered to have come from America or Singapore. In addition, the two countries would not maintain or implement a merchandise processing fee for originating products. The importing individual or organization has to make claim for preferential treatment. The information with regard to the qualification of the products as originating goods should be submitted to the importer by the exporter. The exporter in Singapore must verify that the products actually came from Singapore. Both countries would not introduce a new customs duty or increase an existing customs duty on imports of originating goods, other than as allowed by the FTA, subject to Annex 2A. The Agreement has also facilitated the elimination of non-tariff obstacles hence the cost of doing business would be kept low and exports would become more competitive (Parinduri & Thangavelu, 2013).

The Singapore-United States Free Trade Agreement has been helpful in increasing exports from the United States, improving the competitiveness of America globally, securing presence of the United States in the Southeast Asia region, and providing a standard of free trade which serves to encourage a high degree of liberalization. In Singapore, conducting a business has become more transparent, cheaper, faster and much easier. The Agreement has provided American exporters and companies with more access to Southeast Asia, one of the largest markets globally, where there are lots of opportunities (Wolff, 2015). Other than binding all Singapore tariffs for American products at zero, the U.S-Singapore Agreement has increased export opportunities for some manufacturing sectors in America, such as the ones that make medical equipment and instruments, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, photo equipment, microelectronics and certain textiles. In addition, with few exemptions, Singapore has accorded considerable access to its investment and services market. Singapore has also increased opportunities for government procurement as well as protection of intellectual property. What’s more, the Free Trade Agreement provides for revolutionary collaboration in fostering labour rights and the environment (Parinduri & Thangavelu, 2013). Singapore was America’s tenth biggest export market in 2010 at more than $28 billion. This represents an increase of 31 percent over the previous year 2009. The main exports from America to Singapore are in the following sectors: medical devices, oil and mineral fuel, machinery, spacecraft and airplane, and electrical machinery (Aggarwal, 2013).

Discussion and synthesis of results

The results show that in both the Free Trade Agreements between America and Australia and between America and Singapore, the United States seeks to further certain goals. For instance, the Agreement between the United States and the two countries would remove or gradually reduce tariff barriers on originating goods, and eliminate a merchandise processing fee for originating products. The Australia-U.S Free Trade Agreement furthers the U.S foreign policy goal of allowing American apparel and textile exporters – that is, textiles made in America – to be more price-competitive within the Australian market when they compete with the local Australian suppliers in addition to suppliers from other countries such as Thailand, India, China, or Malaysia who have no duty benefits. Besides eliminating tariff barriers particularly duties, the Free Trade Agreement between America and Australia also removes non-tariff barriers which helps to further open the Australian market to Made-in-the-United States products (U.S. Department of State, 2015). Furthermore, through this Agreement, America seeks to attain the goal of creating more employment opportunities in the United States and benefit American exporters especially companies in America which produce goods that qualify as originating goods.

Similarly, the Free Trade Agreement between the United States and Singapore is aimed at achieving the foreign policy goal of facilitating trade between America and Singapore. In addition, the United States uses this Singapore-U.S FTA to accomplish the foreign policy goal of increasing exports of good that originate from the United States. Furthermore, the United States achieves the foreign policy goal of improving the competitiveness of America internationally, securing America’s presence in Southeast Asia, and providing a standard of free trade which in fact promotes a high degree of liberalization. Equally important, the Agreement helps to achieve America’s foreign policy objective of providing exporters and companies based in the United States with more access to the market of Singapore and the rest of Southeast Asian region, which is regarded as one of the largest markets worldwide with plenty of business opportunities. Moreover, the Agreement between the United States and Australia and the one between the United States and Singapore advance the foreign policy goal of enabling American suppliers to participate in tenders conducted by the governments of Australia and Singapore.


To sum up, in the FTA between America and Australia and between America and Singapore, the United States seeks to achieve the foreign policy goal of facilitating trade between America and Australia and between America and the Southeast Asian nation of Singapore by removing or decreasing tariffs, and removing non-tariff barriers. American exporters can benefit from cost-savings when they export various originating goods to Australia and Singapore. American companies that produce the following types of products can particularly benefit: chemicals, precision instruments, information technology and electronics, medical equipment and instruments, pharmaceuticals, photo equipment, microelectronics and certain textiles. Through these Agreements, America is able to realize the foreign policy goal of improving the competitiveness of America worldwide. In addition, the United States, through these Agreements, seeks to accomplish the objective of creating more jobs in America and benefit American exporters that export originating goods to Singapore and Australia.


Aggarwal, V. K. (2013). U.S. Free Trade Agreements and Linkages. International Negotiation, 18(1), 89-110. doi:10.1163/15718069-12341246

Desker, B. (2010). In defence of FTAs: from purity to pragmatism in East Asia. Pacific Review, 17(1), 3-26.

Evans, K. J., & Welch, J. M. (2015). Official Eyes on History: Digital Access to Foreign Relations of the United States. History Teacher, 48(3), 505-515.

Harris, R. G., & Robertson, P. E. (2011). Dynamic Gains and Market Access Insurance: Another Look at the Australia–US Free Trade Agreement. Australian Economic Review, 42(4), 435-452. doi:10.1111/j.1467-8462.2009.00557.x

Maynes, C. W. (2010). Bottom-up foreign policy. Foreign Policy, (104), 35.

Naoi, M., & Urata, S. (2013). Free Trade Agreements and Domestic Politics: The Case of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement. Asian Economic Policy Review, 8(2), 326-349. doi:10.1111/aepr.12035

Parinduri, R. A., & Thangavelu, S. M. (2013). Trade liberalization, free trade agreements, and the value of firms: Stock market evidence from Singapore. Journal Of International Trade & Economic Development, 22(6), 924-941. doi:10.1080/09638199.2011.616934

Pickering, T. R. (2011). Foreign Affairs Challenges, Priorities, and Policies. American Foreign Policy Interests, 30(5), 266-274. doi:10.1080/10803920802435252

Singapore Government. (2015). Overview of United States (US-SFTA). Retrieved from http://www.fta.gov.sg/fta_ussfta.asp?hl=13

U.S. Customs and Border Protection. (2015). Australia Free Trade Agreement (AUFTA). Retrieved from http://www.cbp.gov/trade/free-trade-agreements/australia

U.S. Department of State. (2015). Benefits of U.S. Free Trade Agreements. Retrieved from http://www.state.gov/e/eb/tpp/bta/fta/c26474.htm

Wolff, A. (2015). Why free trade agreements don’t really deliver free trade. Fortune.Com, N.PAG.

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