However, Chile`s open regionalization and export-oriented trade policy have been called into question because they have not sufficiently focused on the diversification of land from unrefined agricultural and mining products (copper, fish, grapes and wood). Manufactured goods account for less than 15% of total exports, indicating two potential problems. First, confidence in traditional raw materials can generate strong export returns, but profits are unpredictable due to volatile commodity prices (see fluctuations in Chile`s terms of trade in Table 1). (8) In recent years, the United States has signed bilateral free trade agreements with Jordan, Singapore and Chile. All three have common elements, but each reflects country-specific issues. A recurring question for the U.S. Congress regarding the trade negotiation process was to what extent one agreement becomes a model for another? For example, when the U.S.-Chile Free Trade Agreement was signed in December 2002, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Zoellick announced that it could serve as a “model” for the Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA) in the United States. (24) The U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S.
Senate passed the free trade agreement in July 2003 by 270-156 and 66 votes to 31. The vote took place as part of the Trade Promotion Authority, which allows a vote up or down with an accelerated timetable or a “fast lane.” Chile also accepted the agreement. U.S. imports from Chile have increased steadily since 1992, due to continued U.S. interest in Chilean products and the expansion of the U.S. economy. U.S. imports increased by 172% between 1992 and 2002, more than Latin America, excluding Mexico (107%) or the world (118%) that was the case. The United States maintained a trade surplus with Chile between 1989 and 2000; In 2001, the trade balance recorded a deficit of 6% of total trade between the two countries and 18% in 2002. Two-way merchandise trade between the United States and Chile totaled about $24.5 billion in 2015. According to the U.S.
Department of Commerce, U.S. merchandise exports to Chile increased by 474 percent in the 12 years since the free trade agreement came into force, from $2.7 billion in 2003 to $15.6 billion in 2015. Exports of oil, machinery and fertilizer from the United States to Chile have increased significantly since 2003. There are also questions about the legal power to enforce immigration legislation. Some question whether the legislation`s Laws 106 and 107 would allow an international body to repeal decisions made by officials of the Ministry of Homeland Security or the Attorney General regarding the rejection of visa applicants from Chile and Singapore.