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Resources

CENTRAL
WTR SUBSCRIBERS ONLY
DICTIONARY OF TRADE POLICY
TIMELINE OF TRADE POLICY
ANALYSES OF TRADE POLICY
POLITICAL ECONOMY CLASSICS
WTO AGREEMENTS
U.S. AGREEMENTS
U.S. LAWS
CALENDAR OF EVENTS


 

Trade and Trade-Related Agreements to
which the United States Is Not a Party

Below are links to some of the more significant international agreements on trade and related matters to which the United States is not a party. In some cases this is because the geographic scope of the agreement is outside North America; in other cases it reflects a decision of the executive branch not to negotiate for U.S. participation; and in still other cases the United States participated in the negotiations, and may even have signed the final text, but opposition in Congress has either discouraged the president from submitting the agreement for approval or, having been submitted, it has been either stalled or defeated.

 

Note that some of the links below are to documents stored on the WTR website, and others are to the websites of international organizations or other external sources.

 

 

Selected Regional Trade Arrangements

Andean Community: Official codified text of the Cartagena Agreement (originally 1969).

Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN): ASEAN Charter (2008).

Caribbean Community (CARICOM): Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas (2001).

European Free Trade Association (EFTA): Consolidated version of the Convention Establishing the European Free Trade Association (originally 1960).

European Union: Consolidated versions of the Treaty on European Union (originally 1992) and Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (originally 1957).

Southern Market (MERCOSUR): Tratado para la Constitución de un Mercado Común (1991).

 

 

International Labor Organization Conventions

Several ILO conventions that U.S. presidents have submitted to the Senate for approval as treaties have been bottled up in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee for decades; some have since been withdrawn while others are still (at least theoretically) awaiting action and will likely do so until the heat death of the universe. Taken together, the United States has ratified just 14 out of 188 ILO conventions. Among the more important ILO instruments that the United States has not ratified are the following:

 

 

Multilateral Environmental Agreements

Two environmental-related agreements that have never even been submitted to the Senate for its approval are the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (PDF file) and the Kyoto Protocol to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.

 

 

Historical Agreements Rejected by Congress

Many of the treaties that presidents have submitted to the Senate for its advice and consent suffered the fates of either being kept from a vote, amended to death, or defeated (tries requiring two-thirds approval). The most significant of these was the Treaty of Versailles (1919), which inter alia established the ill-fated League of Nations.

Presidents have sometimes sought to facilitate approval by submitting agreements not as formal treaties (within the U.S. meaning of the term) but as agreements requiring simple-majority approval in both house of Congress. That method is sometimes successful, but among the failed agreements that were submitted in this fashion were the Havana Charter of the International Trade Organization (1947) and the antidumping and customs valuation agreements reached in the Kennedy Round of GATT negotiations (1962-1967).