Friends of Manufacturing

The Importance of Fair and Free Trade


Manufacturers in the U.S. make innovative and high-quality products that consumers need and depend on, like Ford pickup trucks, Caterpillar bulldozers, Boeing airplanes, and Harley Davidson motorcycles. However, 95 percent of the world’s consumers live outside of the United States. We simply can’t compete unless we have fair trade agreements that allow businesses to connect with consumers abroad and give manufacturers a boost against global competition for jobs and investment. If we don’t write the rules, countries like China and India will, stacking the deck against manufacturers in the U.S. and shutting us out of the best global markets.


It's no coincidence that the U.S. has a trade surplus with nations with whom we have free trade agreements.  Almost half of all our manufacturing exports, or about $675 billion, go to these countries.  The U.S. runs a $579 billion deficit with the rest of the world.  The global market for manufactured goods is more than $12.2 trillion. If manufacturers in the U.S. are to grow and create jobs, our government must open doors to new foreign markets.

However, many nations don’t play by the rules, due to government policies that effectively shut out U.S.-made products from their markets. Fair trade is a two-way street, and our government must enforce current free trade agreements and WTO rules in order to ensure our manufacturers can compete in all markets. With a new President and Congress, we must begin holding our trading partners accountable for policies that harm manufacturing in America.

Trade is opportunity. From the smallest microchip or lifesaving medicine to the largest airplanes and harvesters, manufacturers in America need open foreign markets to find new customers, grow jobs in local communities and improve our nation’s competitiveness in an interconnected economy.


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About Friends of Manufacturing

Friends of Manufacturing knows the vital role that manufacturing plays in each and every community, big or small, throughout the United States.  We believe that everyone, from the machine operator, to the small business owner, to the millions of Americans who want to make Manufacturing in America everything it can be, should have a say in government policies that affect their livelihood.  We’ll let you know when issues that are critical to our well-being are being debated in Washington. And we’ll let you know what you can do about it.  With your help, we can make Manufacturing in America as strong as it can be, for our communities, for our workers, and for our future.