United States Trade Developments, 2016-2017, provides an overview of the most relevant developments
in United States trade relations with Latin America and the Caribbean and of the measures that inhibit
the free flow of goods among countries in the Western Hemisphere. This is an annual report elaborated
by the ECLAC Washington Office.
Trade features prominently in the new administration’s economic agenda. The 2017 President’s
Trade Policy Agenda reinforces the focus on the defense of United States interests through the
promotion of free and fair trade. The four trade priorities stated in the Trade Policy Agenda are:
promoting United States sovereignty, enforcing United States trade laws, leveraging United States
economic strength to expand goods and services exports, and protecting United States intellectual
Specifically, the administration has indicated that multilateral free-trade pacts will be avoided,
bilateral trade negotiations will be prioritized, and reducing the United States’ trade deficit will be a
central goal of trade policy.
A growing range of economic activities are moving online, encompassing various information
and communication technologies (ICTs) that are having a transformational impact on the way business is
conducted, people interact among themselves and with the government and businesses. United States
digital trade related exports are increasing and so are foreign direct investment (FDI) patterns and
expansion of United States companies’ operations abroad. This year’s ECLAC Washington report
addresses the significance of digital trade for the U.S. economy as well as some of the existing barriers
that may be inhibiting the growth of the digital economy.
The report also describes the main trade policy developments of the year, discuses United States
trade deficits and presents trade inhibiting measures.