Not a very surprising conclusion, I know, but interesting to see it demonstrated (subscription only):
TRADE between Singapore and the US totalled $86.3 billion last year, close to 20 per cent up from when the US-Singapore Free Trade Agreement (FTA) took effect in 2004, according to an official statement on the fifth annual review of the FTA yesterday.
The increase is despite a 2.1 per cent drop in trade between 2007 and 2008 because of the global economic downturn.
Now what would be even more interesting is to do some cross-comparisons. For example, compare U.S. - Singapore trade over the period to U.S. trade with another East Asian country that does not have an FTA with the U.S. Or compare U.S. - Singapore trade to another country's trade with Singapore, using a country that does not have an FTA with Singapore.
For a real challenge, someone could take all the FTAs signed over the last ten years or so and map out comparisons of trade flows from all the participating and non-participating countries.
The US has not completed a PTA with Malaysia. US exports to Malaysia in 2004: $10.8b. In 2008: $12.9b. That's a 19% increase over the four years. http://www.census.gov/foreign-trade/balance/c5570.html ...
I don't think the stats presented show that PTAs promote trade.