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Weekly Chart: Free Trade in the Americas

December 01, 2016

Mexico has 12 FTAs and access to 46 markets. Chile? 19 FTAs, 55 markets. @El_iG maps Americas’ open economies.
CARICOM, MERCOSUR, ALADI, CAN, CAFTA-DR, P4. Do you know your trade deals? Check out @ASCOA's Weekly Chart.

Updated December 2 — World trade is in a slump. The World Trade Organization forecasts that global trade will hit a total growth of just 1.7 percent this year, down from an earlier forecast of 2.8 percent. That would make 2016 the first year over the past 15 in which world trade is expected to grow less than global GDP, which the International Monetary Fund projects will hit 3.1 percent.

Meanwhile, protectionist talk is on the rise, from Brexit to U.S. President-elect Donald Trump’s promise to kill the Trans-Pacific Partnership. It remains to be seen whether Trump will make good on his pledge to renegotiate the North American Free-Trade Agreement, as well as how doing so would affect Mexico, which sends roughly 80 percent of its exports to the United States. On the other hand, the Latin American country has a wide range of free trade agreements (FTAs) of its own—as many as 12 FTAs spanning 46 countries—which give it access to 60 percent of the global market. And it’s not even the most open economy in the region. On the other hand, Venezuela is losing access to its limited free trade privileges. On December 1, the Southern Common Market, known as Mercosur, suspended Venezuela’s membership from the trade bloc for failing to meet membership requirements involving economic, human rights, and immigration accords.

So just how open are Western Hemisphere countries? AS/COA Online maps out each one’s total free-trade deals.