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International trade was an important part of President George W. Bush’s economic agenda. Between 2001 and 2009, the United States entered trade agreements with 13 new countries, taking the total number of partners in free trade agreements from 3 to 16. An additional agreement had been approved by Congress, but had not gone into effect at the end of the President’s second term.

President George W. Bush attending the Summit on Financial Markets and the World Economy.
President George W. Bush delivers his remarks following the conclusion of the Summit with Financial Markets and the World Economy Leaders, November 15, 2008, at the National Building Museum in Washington, D.C. President Bush stated in his remarks, "The United States, in the midst of this financial crisis, will not abandon our commitments to people in the developing world."

Exports of American products and services increased by 50% from 2000 to 2007 and accounted for more than 13% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Increase in international trade opened new markets to American farmers, ranchers, and companies, and in 2007, agricultural exports had brought in a record $92.4 billion.

The United States also participated in Doha trade negotiations among the World Trade Organization membership. The Doha negotiations aimed to revise trade rules and to improve trade with developing countries.

President George W. Bush signs the Andean Trade Preference Act Extension.
President George W. Bush signs H.R. 7222, the Andean Trade Preference Act Extension, October 16, 2008, in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building. The bill will extend the Generalized Systems of Preferences (GSP), designed to help developing countries expand their market presence and strengthen their economies, and the Andean Trade Pact, which waives duties on imports from Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru in accordance with a 1991 law. Looking on are Ambassador Susan Schwab, the U.S. Trade Representative, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Carlos Gutierrez and U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.

In addition to pursuing trade with other countries, the United States also provided development assistance to other nations through Millennium Challenge Accounts and engagement with multilateral development banks like the World Bank.

The goal of the Millennium Challenge Account initiative is to reduce poverty by significantly increasing economic growth in recipient countries through a variety of targeted investments. The MCA will be administered by a new, small Government corporation, called the Millennium Challenge Corporation, designed to support innovative strategies and to ensure accountability for measurable results.

-- Message to the United States Congress, February 5, 2003