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NEWS RELEASE 00-102; JULY 27, 2000
July 27, 2000
News Release 00-102
ITC'S INTERNATIONAL ECONOMIC REVIEW FEATURES ARTICLES ON NAFTA,
U.S.-CANADA TRADE AND WTO AGRICULTURE AND SERVICES NEGOTIATIONS
NAFTA, U.S.-Canada trade, and WTO agriculture and services negotiations are the topics
covered in the current issue of the International Economic Review (IER), a publication of the
U.S. International Trade Commission's Office of Economics.
The IER is produced as part of the ITC's international trade monitoring program. The
program's purpose is to keep the Commission informed about significant developments in
international economics and trade and to maintain the Commission's readiness to provide
technical information and advice to policymakers in the Congress and the executive branch.
The opinions and conclusions of the IER are those of the authors and are not the views of the
Commission or of any individual Commissioner.
The current issue (June/July 2000) includes the following articles:
- NAFTA: An Optimal Currency Area? -- The increasing convergence of the NAFTA
countries has stimulated a debate on the issues of adopting a common currency and
forming an American monetary union among Canada, Mexico, and the United States.
Of direct and central relevance to the economic suitability of such a monetary union is
the concept of the optimal currency area (OCA). Criteria for an OCA are discussed in
this article, as are the costs and benefits associated with forming an OCA. The bottom
line, however, is more political than economic and is a function of the willingness of
the potential members of an area to agree to the terms of formation.
- Interpreting "Home Bias" in U.S.-Canada Trade -- The literature documenting "home
bias" in interregional trade patterns may eventually help policymakers understand the
likely extent to which the U.S. economy is distinct from that of the rest of the world.
This article provides a guide to possible interpretations for the empirical evidence of
home bias, the plausibility of each interpretation, and its implications for policymakers.
- WTO Agriculture and Services Negotations Proceed After Seattle Conference Suspended -- A
new round of multilateral trade negotiations was expected following the WTO Third
Ministerial Conference in Seattle from November 30 to December 3, 1999. Instead,
differences over what subjects to include in these negotiations -- as well as over the actual
decisionmaking process used to pick these subjects -- led to suspension of the conference,
followed by weeks of consultations among WTO members. In February 2000, WTO
Members agreed to move forward with negotiations mandated under the Uruguay Round
Agreements on agriculture, services, and aspects of intellectual property and government
procurement, while continuing discussions on possible negotiation of other subjects.
In addition, the publication reviews U.S. economic performance relative to other major trade
partners, U.S. trade performance, and economic forecasts. Comparative economic indicators for
major industrialized countries are also provided.
The current issue of the IER (USITC Publication 3331, June/July 2000) will be available on the
ITC's Internet site at www.usitc.gov. To request a printed copy, write to the Office of the
Secretary, U.S. International Trade Commission, 500 E Street SW, Washington, D.C. 20436 or
fax requests to 202-205-2104.
To be added to the mailing list for the publication, write to the Office of Economics, U.S.
International Trade Commission, 500 E Street SW, Washington, D.C. 20436 or fax
requests to 202-205-2340.