In the case of the USSFTA, the existing trade symmetry has fostered friendly bilateral relations for some time, which have forged the security link up that has created symmetry in the twin concerns between Singapore and the United States.
The USSFTA is one example of this post-9/11 globalization.
The United States and Singapore concluded the negotiations in May 2003 and on 1 January 2004 the USSFTA went into full effect.
In December 2005, in an impressive display of the strong support for the USSFTA, Singapore chose to buy 12 Boeing's F-15SGs, instead of France's Dassault Rafaele and in the process firmed up its security link-up with the United States.
The USSFTA, Singapore-Brunei-Chile-New Zealand FTA, and Singapore-Mexico FTA can provide bases for Singaporean firms to expand their activities throughout the Western Hemisphere.
There are three most plausible reasons for the USSFTA: economic motivations, security exigencies, and fear of diplomatic isolation, or being left out.
The USSFTA and the ongoing negotiations with Thailand and Malaysia offer an important opening for ASEAN to produce a more realistic convergence strategy.