The few current U.S. maritime agreements are concluded with Brazil, China, Korea and Russia. See below for more details on key international agreements and negotiating actions. In total, the United States currently has 14 trade agreements with 20 different countries. Some of these vessels have Nigerian flags or are chartered for coasting operations in Nigeria. Flags of convenience-registered vessels tend to tactically reduce operating costs or circumvent the rules available in their owner`s country. To do so, a shipowner will find a nation with an open register or a nation authorizing the registration of vessels in possession of foreign facilities. A vessel operates under flag state laws, so shipowners often register in other countries to take advantage of reduced regulation, lower administrative costs and more welcoming ports. The United States and the European Union (EU) have reached an agreement on short sea shipping to promote competitive and sustainable freight and passenger transport. This agreement confirms the desire of both sides to hold regular meetings on the exchange of information and the exchange of ideas and best practices. “In view of the next steps in the agreement, full implementation of the partnership should take some time, as the agreement will have to be ratified by all members in the next two years, while less developed members will be given additional flexibility in this regard to make any necessary legislative changes. Therefore, the economic benefits may not be appropriate, but in the long run, the promise in terms of trade and economic growth remains important,” concluded the Allied analyst.

There are pros and cons of trade agreements. By removing tariffs, they reduce import prices and consumers benefit from them. However, some domestic industries are suffering. They cannot compete with countries with lower standards of living. This allows them to leave the store and make their employees suffer. Trade agreements often require a trade-off between businesses and consumers. Bilateral agreements involve direct contact with foreign governments or groups on specific issues related to the maritime industry and may begin the exchange of letters (the flexible agreement and the intention to negotiate) and/or further consultations. The United States only implements bilateral maritime agreements in rare cases where circumstances warrant it. However, the United States monitors bilateral maritime and trade agreements between other countries to ensure that they do not compromise access to U.S. markets. The United States and Korea have held a series of bilateral discussions on maritime issues of mutual interest, with a focus on training seafarers, seafarers and increasing maritime trade.

The two countries have signed a memorandum of cooperation in the areas of maritime transport and logistics. Canadian maritime actors, including the International Union of the Sea and the International Union of Longshore and Warehouses, see it as a major threat to the protection of Canadian coasting, which requires the use of Canadian and Canadian-crewed vessels for cargo between national ports.