A trade agreement is a type of agreement that exists between two or more countries in order to govern the trading procedures that exist between these states. Within the domain of international trade, there are a range of tariffs and prohibitions which limit trade between certain countries.
Trade agreements can function to counteract these barriers and promote trade between these countries. Limiting trade barriers is advantageous for the United States economy, as it allows for the exportation of more goods. It also helps to benefit participating countries, as the United States can import an increased quantity of goods from these countries, and subsequently sell these goods within the United States. The details of a free trade agreement will vary from one agreement to another.
Currently, the United States is engaged in a free trade agreement with a number of different countries. For example, the U.S. has established a free trade agreement with Australia, Jordan, Panama, South Korea, and Singapore, just to name a few.
Perhaps the most widely known of the existing free trade agreements is the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). The North American Free Trade Agreement is an agreement that exists between the United States, Mexico, and Canada. The initial stages of the agreement occurred between the United States and Canada, and subsequently, Mexico entered into the contract. NAFTA limits the trade barriers that existed between these three countries and encourages open trade.