The current discussion about free trade agreements too often forgets the tremendous benefits that free trade agreements offer U.S. exporters. Last September, the U.S. Department of Commerce reported that U.S. exports to current free trade agreement partners grew 22 percent from 2009 to 2015. The Commerce Department further reported that these exports supported more than 3 million American jobs and that U.S. exports, in total, support more than 11.5 million American jobs.

A key premise of President Trump's economic policy is to increase the total number of U.S. exports. This makes sense given that the growth of the U.S. economy in the last century was due to the dominance of U.S. manufacturers after World War II. However, what is sometimes misunderstood is that U.S. free trade agreements are also part of our growth, and have actually strengthened our nation’s economy—not weakened it.

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