Bilateral Trade

What is a 'Bilateral Trade'

A bilateral trade is the exchange of goods between two countries. Bilateral trade agreements give preference to certain countries in commercial relationships, facilitating trade and investment between the home country and the foreign country by reducing or eliminating tariffs, import quotas, export restraints and other trade barriers. Bilateral trade agreements can also help minimize trade deficits.

BREAKING DOWN 'Bilateral Trade'

In the United States, the Office of Bilateral Trade Affairs manages the country's bilateral trade agreements. Its roles include negotiating free trade agreements with new countries, supporting and improving existing trade agreements, promoting economic development abroad and more. The United States has bilateral free trade agreements with Australia, Bahrain, Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Israel, Jordan, Mexico, Morocco, Nicaragua, Oman, Peru and Singapore (as of 2010). Trade with these countries accounts for a large share of total U.S. exports.

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