The NAM has been making the point for some time now that manufactured goods trade with current Free Trade Agreement (FTA) partners is in surplus.  Our manufactured goods trade deficit is with countries that DON’T have FTAs with us.  It is amazing how many people have fallen for the myth that trade agreements are bad for us without bothering to seek the facts.

Third Way has just made understanding the facts easier.  They have come out with a terrific “infographic,” titled “Black is the New Red,”  that nails down the point that oil imports drive trade deficits: trade deals don’t.

Third Way’s graphic makes this point in an outstanding and instantly recognizable way. Everyone should look at it.  It reinforces what pro-trade agreement advocates know, and should be a real eye-opener for those who oppose trade deals because they think they are bad for American manufacturing and jobs.

Thanks, Third Way!

Also, it is important to know that the Commerce Department has begun posting the trade statistics with FTAs on their website .  Click on Trade Tables, at the left of the page.  The lower left hand part of page two of the trade tables shows clearly that we have a manufactured goods trade surplus with our current FTA partners.  As Third way points out, the overall balance with FTA partners is in deficit because of all the oil we get from NAFTA.

Frank Vargo is vice president for international economic affairs, National Association of Manufacturers.