The Obama administration said last Tuesday it plans to negotiate an agreement with 20 countries, including Israel, to remove trade and investment barriers in services ranging from finance to express delivery.
The countries involved are Brazil, Russia, India, China, Australia, Canada, Chile, Columbia, Hong Kong, EU, Costa Rica, Mexico, Norway, Pakistan, Panama, Peru, South Korea, Swiss, Taiwan and Turkey.
A statement issued by the USA noted that the US will focus on the reduction of all barriers which affect the smooth flow of services.
U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk said in a letter notifying Congress of U.S. plans to launch talks that "Every US$1 billion in U.S. services exports supports an estimated 4,200 U.S. jobs in America,". "If business services achieved the same export potential as manufactured goods globally, U.S. exports could increase by as much as US$800 billion."
Services account for about 80% of U.S. employment and the United States is already the world's largest services exporter, with international sales of about US$1.7 trillion annually, an amount equal to about 11% of U.S. gross domestic product.