5 Ways International Trade Affects Your Household

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From the price of household goods to the quantity and quality of jobs available, international trade impacts your daily life in more ways than you may realize. Supporters of new trade agreements say they include important and unexpected measures that do everything from preserving the environment to supporting high tech innovation.

Take a look at five ways the global marketplace affects you and your family.

1. Jobs: U.S. businesses your family relies on for everyday household items often sell their products to customers abroad as well. This global market means expanded operations here at home — U.S. exports supported 11.7 million American jobs in 2014, according to the Department of Commerce. New trade agreements will lead to more American made exports and U.S. higher-paying jobs.

2. High-tech advancement: International trade raises the incentive to innovate. It gives exporters and importers exposure to new ideas, tools and materials that make them more productive and lead to new goods for consumers. It also spreads new technology faster, raising technology standards in countries all around the world. Some of the top U.S. exports include aerospace products, automobiles and semiconductor chips, used in everything from smart phones to health devices.

3. High-quality, affordable choices at home: Products from abroad often mean more affordable choices for American families. The Business Roundtable estimates that trade policies save an average American family of four about $10,000 per year. What’s more, 60 percent of U.S. product imports in 2014 were inputs and components that were then used by American producers, also according to Business Roundtable. Lower costs for components keeps U.S. manufacturing competitive in international markets.

4. Keeping American businesses strong: The most recent trade deal signed by the U.S. and 11 other countries called the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Agreement would eliminate more than 18,000 taxes and other trade barriers that various countries put on U.S. goods and services, according to the United States Trade Representative. Without these taxes holding them back, many experts believe that U.S. farmers, ranchers and manufacturers are better able to compete.

5. Preserving the environment: TPP also includes measures that protect oceans and combat wildlife trafficking and illegal logging. If reducing your household’s environmental impact is a priority for your family, upcoming trade agreements are a step in the right direction.

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