Trade policies such as protectionist measures and government support of agricultural sectors affect the level of global trade. Bilateral, multilateral, and regional trade agreements to eliminate trade barriers among member countries have taken on greater significance amidst an evolving international trading environment. The United States has membership in trade agreements with a number of countries.
ERS analyzes policies and regulations of major trading partners such as China, Japan, Mexico, and the European Union. ERS economists have conducted extensive research on the impacts of the North American Free Tree Act and on economic issues confronting World Trade Organization negotiators. In addition, ERS has examined the impacts of various trade agreements on member countries' agricultural sectors, including potential impacts of the recently concluded U.S. agreement with South Korea, Colombia, and Panama.