Obama Administration Accomplishments
Under President Obama’s leadership, the United States’ trade policy supports American jobs by opening markets and creating opportunities for U.S. farmers, ranchers, manufacturers, and service providers to export more “Made in America” products to customers around the world. The Obama Administration rigorously enforces U.S. trade rights, insisting that countries fulfill their commitments and act according to the rules prescribed under our agreements. We work to strengthen the rules-based international trading system, to build better markets for U.S. exports, and to share the benefits of trade more broadly. These efforts are bringing U.S. trade policy into greater balance with the concerns and aspirations of the American people, attracting and maintaining the jobs and industries of the 21st century here on our shores. Included below are just a few examples of that policy in action over the course of the last four years.
Implementation of the U.S.–Colombia Trade Promotion Agreement (TPA) will support more American jobs, increase U.S. exports, and enhance U.S. competitiveness:
• Colombia’s economy is the third largest in Central and South America. This comprehensive trade agreement will eliminate tariffs and other barriers to U.S. exports, expand trade between our two countries and promote economic growth for both.
• The International Trade Commission (ITC) has estimated that the tariff reductions in the Agreement will expand exports of U.S. goods alone by more than $1.1 billion, supporting thousands of additional American jobs. The ITC also projected that the Agreement will increase U.S. GDP by $2.5 billion.
• The Agreement will provide significant new access to Colombia’s $166 billion services market, supporting increased opportunities for U.S. service providers.
• U.S. goods exports to Colombia in 2010 were $12.0 billion. Our economies are largely complementary in terms of the goods we ship each other. For example, Colombia is a large importer of grains from the United States while it exports a number of tropical fruits to our country. In addition, U.S. cotton, yarn and fabric exports to Colombia are used in many apparel items that Colombia exports to the United States.
Learn more about the U.S. – Colombia Free trade agreement here.
Ambassador Kirk Speaks with Colombian Trade Minister Luis Guillermo Plata
Now more than ever, America’s ability to create or support jobs here at home depends on our ability to export goods and services to the world. From 1960 to 2010, exports’ share of our country’s gross domestic product – that’s the measure of America’s overall economic output – more than doubled. In 2010, exports supported an estimated 9.2 million American jobs, and those are positions that pay well: Americans whose jobs are supported by goods exports earn 13 to 18 percent more than the national average. New exports help to support additional jobs. With the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) estimating that the tariff cuts alone in the U.S.-South Korea trade agreement will increase exports of American goods by $10 billion to $11 billion, this agreement will secure at least 70,000 American jobs supported by those exports – as well as the additional American jobs that will come from by breaking down non-tariff barriers keeping U.S. exports out of South Korea, and by requiring stronger protection and enforcement of intellectual property rights in South Korea.
The ITC’s analysis of the economic benefits of this agreement only counts how much American exports will go up due to the elimination or adjustment of tariffs, which South Korea charges when exported U.S. goods come onshore in South Korea. But the agreement will also create new opportunities for even more exports as it opens South Korea’s $580 billion services market to more American companies – supporting additional jobs for American workers in service sectors ranging from express delivery to engineering to legal and accounting services to education and health care.
Learn more about the Korea Free Trade Agreement here.
President Obama signs the "United States - Korea Free Trade Implementation Act"
Official White House Photo by Pete Souza
President Obama announced in November 2009 the United States’ intention to participate in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations to conclude an ambitious, next-generation, Asia-Pacific trade agreement that reflects U.S. priorities and values. Through this agreement, we are seeking to boost U.S. economic growth and support the creation and retention of high-quality jobs at home by increasing American exports to a region that includes some of the world’s most robust economies and that represents more than 40 percent of global trade. The Obama Administration has been working in partnership with Congress and consulting closely with stakeholders around the country to ensure TPP addresses the issues that American businesses and workers are facing today, and may confront in the future.
The TPP is a key element of the Obama Administration strategy to make U.S. engagement in the Asia-Pacific region a top priority. The huge and growing markets of the Asia-Pacific already are key destinations for U.S. manufactured goods, agricultural products, and services suppliers. As a group, TPP countries are the fourth largest goods and services export market of the United States. U.S. goods exports to the broader Asia-Pacific totaled $775 billion in 2010, a 25.5 percent increase over 2009 and equal to 61 percent of total U.S. goods exports to the world. U.S. exports of agricultural products to the region totaled $83 billion in 2010 and accounted for 72 percent of total U.S. agricultural exports to the world. U.S. private services exports totaled $177 billion in 2009 (latest data available), 37 percent of total U.S. private services exports to the world. America’s small- and medium-sized enterprises alone exported $171 billion to the Asia-Pacific in 2009 (latest data available).
Learn more about the Trans-Pacific Partnership here.
USTR coordinates the Administration's active monitoring of foreign government compliance with trade agreements and pursues enforcement actions, using dispute settlement procedures and applying the full range of U.S. trade laws when necessary.
Vigorous investigation efforts by relevant agencies, including the Departments of Agriculture, Commerce, and State, help ensure that these agreements yield the maximum benefits in terms of ensuring market access for Americans, advancing the rule of law internationally, and creating a fair, open, and predictable trading environment.
Ensuring full implementation of U.S. trade agreements is one of the Administration's strategic priorities. You can read more about monitoring and enforcement actions in this year's Annual Report, and learn more about the how USTR enforces trade agreements here.