The other 30 advisory committees, including the Trade and Environmental Policy Advisory Committee, supported (or were neutral) in the agreement, although there were differing views and reservations about some provisions. (42) The important trade and negotiation policy advisory committee strongly supported the agreement and stated that it believed that the free trade agreement strongly promoted the economic interests of the United States and essentially met the broad objectives and negotiating objectives set out in the 2002 Trade Act. However, the workers` representative on this committee disputed and stated that he had not met the objectives in a number of areas, including work and the environment. As Singapore is already already a free trade state, much of the negotiations on the free trade agreement focused on access to its services markets. The free trade agreement provides significant market access for the entire service sector of the other, subject to certain exceptions that must be made in writing — the so-called negative list approach (Chapter 8). Exceptions include sectors that generally require certifications or public licenses (lawyers, accountants), public institutions (airports, social security services, public hospitals, public bodies) or national policies (nuclear energy). Appendix C lists the areas reserved by each country. e-commerce and digital products. (Chapter 14) Singapore and the United States have agreed on e-commerce and Internet provisions that reflect the importance of the issue in world trade and the principle of preventing barriers to the use of e-commerce. The agreement establishes explicit guarantees that the principle of non-discrimination applies to products provided electronically (software, music, video or text) by treating U.S. companies that provide digital products on the Internet on the same processing method.
It also provides for a mandatory ban on tariffs on electronically supplied digital products, such as legitimate downloads of music, videos, software or texts. For digital products delivered on hardmedia (e.g.B DVD or CD), tariffs are based on the value of media (e.g. B disc), not on the value of the film, music or software contained on the disc or any other medium. Singapore is America`s largest trading partner in Southeast Asia, with a two-way trade of $31.7 billion and a bilateral U.S. trade surplus in 2003 of $1.4 billion (as $1.4 billion in 2002), a reversal of the deficit of $1.4 billion in 2000. The United States generally has a surplus in services trade with Singapore. Singapore is the 11th largest export market for the United States, with $16.6 billion in merchandise exports in 2003. It was the 17th largest source of goods imported into the United States in 2003. The United States is Singapore`s second largest trading partner (after Malaysia — Japan is third). As shown in Table 1, the United States has surpluses for aircraft in bilateral trade by sector compared to Singapore; Electrical machines; Plastic Mineral fuels optical instruments, various chemicals; Coloring, colors and putten; Products in base metals and steel products.