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  • 07/30/2010 1:43 PM

    Ambassador Kirk spoke to Pennsylvania manufacturing workers this morning about how the Obama Administration has stepped up enforcement of U.S. trade agreements to sustain and create American jobs. See reactions to his speech below.

    U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH)

    United Steelworkers (USW)

  • 07/30/2010 9:18 AM
    Ambassador Kirk will be giving a major policy address on trade enforcement today at 10:00 am EDT. You can watch it live here.
  • 07/30/2010 9:08 AM

    Ambassador Kirk wrote a blog post on this morning regarding his major policy address on trade enforcement. Read it below and watch the speech at 10:00 am EDT today LIVE on

    Tough Trade Enforcement Supports Jobs for American Workers
    Posted by Ambassador Ron Kirk on July 30, 2010 at 09:00 AM EDT

    Every day, the Obama Administration is working to enforce America’s rights in the international trading system – to keep our workers on a level playing field in global markets, and ultimately create and sustain American jobs.

    Over the past year, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative has stepped up enforcement of our trade agreements using a range of options from negotiation to taking disputes to the World Trade Organization. These enforcement actions have helped workers in sectors ranging from agriculture to auto parts, from aluminum and steel manufacturing to aerospace construction.

    Because President Obama took action to stem the tide of imported Chinese tires flooding the U.S. market, moms and dads are bringing home paychecks from tire factories in North Carolina and Arkansas. Because USTR successfully challenged Chinese industrial policy that pushed American auto parts suppliers to move production facilities offshore, men and women in Ohio and Michigan are still working on assembly lines. And because we took the European Union to court and won, the jobs of thousands of U.S. aerospace engineers and electricians in Washington State, Kansas, and South Carolina are more secure. And more American workers, from welders to widget-makers, will have a chance at future jobs on a more level playing field.

    We are taking these actions because our trade agreements affirm the rights of American workers and businesses to compete in a system of rules that applies equally to all of our trading partners.

    We insist on fair play because we are confident that American workers and businesses can compete – and win – in a global market. As the President has said, “When the playing field is even, nobody can beat us.” And we can’t afford to leave any jobs on the table.

    Today I’m looking forward to speaking with manufacturing workers in Pennsylvania about how USTR’s trade enforcement efforts can help them succeed. This morning I will speak at Allegheny Technologies Incorporated (ATI), a specialty metals manufacturer that uses innovative technologies and systems to supply customers around the world with state-of-the-art industrial materials.

    My speech will provide an update on how this Administration is using every option available in the trade enforcement playbook to help sustain jobs here in America. I will also discuss how the Obama Administration combines tough trade enforcement and smart trade expansion, contributing to President Obama’s National Export Initiative and helping the overall economic recovery. And you can watch it live here.

    At USTR and across the Obama Administration, we’re fighting every day to restore the American people’s trust in the fact that when it’s done right, trade can work for you.

  • 07/29/2010 3:17 PM

    Ambassador Kirk spoke at the National Urban League's Centennial Conference this morning about trade, education and jobs. He stated:

    "I have had the privilege of literally going around the world five times in 18 months, and I can confirm one thing: “Made in America” is still the most powerful brand in the world. But the President was being honest when he shared with you the urgency of beginning to tackle and confront challenges of educating our young people in a world that is completely globally connected."

    Ambassador Kirk at the National Urban LeagueAmbassador Kirk speaks at the National Urban League's Centennial Conference

  • 07/29/2010 1:35 PM

    Ambassador Kirk is speaking at the National Urban League now. You can watch live here.

  • 07/29/2010 12:32 PM

    After successful meetings in Jakarta, Indonesia and Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia earlier this week, Deputy U.S. Trade Representative Demetrios Marantis arrived in New Delhi, India late Wednesday night for two days of official talks. On Thursday, Ambassador Marantis spent much of the day meeting with Commerce Secretary Rahul Khullar and his colleagues to discuss a range of bilateral trade and investment issues, including U.S. agricultural and telecommunications equipment exports to India. Secretary Khullar and Ambassador Marantis also discussed preparations for the U.S.-India Trade Policy Forum (TPF), and high-level trade and investment dialogue scheduled for September in Washington, D.C. The TPF is aimed at further expanding job-creating opportunities in the U.S.-India relationship. The United States already is India's largest trading partner in goods and services and one of its largest foreign investors. Two-way merchandise trade grew 73 percent between 2004 and 2009, with U.S. exports reaching $16.4 billion. Leading U.S. exports to India in 2009 include machinery and aircraft.

    After meeting with Khullar, Ambassador Marantis met with Revenue Secretary Sunil Mitra to discuss Indian customs and tariff issues. He ended his day with the American Chamber of Commerce in India, where he was able to discuss the challenges and opportunities of doing business in India with U.S. company representatives.

  • 07/28/2010 2:11 PM

    Deputy USTR Demetrios Marantis held a second day of meetings today in Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya, Malaysia, to discuss U.S.-Malaysia economic relations and related issues. He met with Ministry of Finance officials to discuss Malaysia's government procurement policy. He also met with the Ministry of Agriculture officials to discuss bilateral trade issues, including Malaysia's new halal requirements and their potential impact on U.S-Malaysia trade. In addition, Ambassador Marantis conducted an in-depth seminar with members of the Malaysia Institute of Strategic and International Studies, on U.S. trade policy, including the National Export Initiative, U.S.-Malaysia trade, and the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

    Ambassador Marantis at ISIS
    Ambassador Marantis speaks at the Malaysia Institute of Strategic and International Studies

    Ambassador Marantis with ISIS MembersAmbassador Marantis with members of the Malaysia Institute of Strategic and International Studies

  • 07/27/2010 2:48 PM

    U.S. trade policy helps to create and increase export opportunities for American companies in the global marketplace and support well-paying jobs for Americans, including right here in Pennsylvania. In this week’s Trade Spotlight, is highlighting various export industries—from manufacturing in Pittsburgh to dairy farming in Lancaster County—that support jobs in the Keystone State.

    Framed by the Allegheny, Monongahela, and Ohio rivers, the bountiful region known as “Fort Pitt” became a natural trading center even before American independence. Today, Pittsburgh is a bustling metropolitan area, exporting $11.3 billion in goods in 2008.

    On Friday, July 30, United States Trade Representative Ron Kirk will return to the Pittsburgh area to speak to manufacturing workers about how the Obama Administration has stepped up enforcement of U.S. trade agreements in support of American workers. Ambassador Kirk will speak to workers after touring Allegheny Technologies Incorporated (ATI)’s plant in Washington, Pennsylvania.

    ATI is a leading manufacturer of specialty metals headquartered in Pittsburgh. With 8,600 employees worldwide, ATI’s business covers growing global markets across industries ranging from aerospace and infrastructure to clean energy production and efficient electric distribution.

    Companies like ATI are helping to grow the Keystone State’s manufacturing sector. In fact, Pennsylvania’s exports of manufactured products increased by 47 percent between 2000 and 2009. Those increased exports support good manufacturing jobs at companies like ATI.

    Trade benefits Pennsylvania farmers, too. In 2009, Pennsylvania farmers sold an estimated $1.7 billion worth of agricultural products abroad – including wheat, live animals and red meats, feed grains, and dairy products. Agricultural exports help boost farm prices and income, so Pennsylvania’s exports can support approximately 22,000 jobs both on and off the farm. For example, one Lancaster Country poultry farm has been able to employ 70 people by exporting its organic products to Caribbean countries. By exporting American agricultural goods abroad, Pennsylvania farmers are staying competitive and fostering job growth here at home.

    In total, exports support hundreds of thousands of Pennsylvania jobs. In 2008, 271,000 jobs were supported by Pennsylvania’s goods exports – and export-supported jobs pay an estimated 13 to 18 percent higher than the national average wage. That is why USTR is committed to increasing export opportunities for Pennsylvania workers and businesses. For example, right now USTR is working to complete the U.S.-Korea trade agreement, which will improve access for American exporters to the Korea market – which is currently our seventh largest goods trading partner and the world’s 14th largest economy. In fact, it is estimated that the U.S.-Korea trade agreement may support as many as 70,000 jobs nationwide. Specifically for Pennsylvania, one half of chemical products, and many other manufactured products produced in Pennsylvania, will have their duties eliminated immediately under the agreement. In addition, duties on major Pennsylvania agricultural products, such as grape juice, wine, what, and many dairy products, will be eliminated immediately as well. Pennsylvania workers, farmers, manufacturers, and service providers all can gain from the U.S.-Korea trade agreement and other market-opening efforts we’re working on here at USTR.

  • 07/27/2010 1:46 PM

    Deputy USTR Demetrios Marantis arrived in Kuala Lumpur Monday night for two days of meetings with Malaysian Government officials and business leaders. His government meetings on Tuesday -- with Bank Negara (Malaysia's central bank), the Ministry of Domestic Trade, and the Ministry of International Trade -- focused on Malaysia's planned market opening in the financial sector. U.S. Treasury Deputy Assistant Secretary Sharon Yuan and other Treasury Department officials joined him for those meetings. Ambassador Marantis also addressed implementation of Malaysia's new competition law and efforts to strengthen Malaysia's intellectual property regime. He updated his Malaysian Government counterparts on the Obama Administration's trade policy goals, including the Trans-Pacific Partnership. Ambassador Marantis also met with representatives of the American and Malaysian private sectors.

    U.S. goods exports to Malaysia in 2009 were $10.4 billion. The top export categories in 2009 were electrical machinery, machinery, aircraft, optic and medical instruments, and iron and steel. U.S. goods and services trade with Malaysia totaled $47 billion in 2008.

    Ambassador Marantis and senior Amcham business leaders
    Ambassador Marantis with Senior Amcham Business Leaders

    Ambassador Marantis and Trade Minister Mustapa
    Ambassador Marantis and Trade Minister Mustapa (far left)

  • 07/26/2010 5:26 PM

    Earlier today Ambassador Ron Kirk welcomed Ambassador Audrey Marks, Jamaica’s new envoy to the United States. The two discussed the ongoing negotiations on a revised Trade and Investment Framework Agreement between the United States and the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), along with the importance of bilateral trade and investment between the United States and Jamaica.

    The United States is Jamaica’s largest trading partner, with annual two-way trade totaling $1.9 billion in 2009. U.S. goods exports to Jamaica totaled $1.4 billion.

    Ambassador Kirk and Ambassador Marks
    Ambassador Kirk with Jamaican Ambassador Audrey Marks

  • 07/26/2010 4:31 PM

    United States Trade Representative Ron Kirk met with Ford Motor Company officials today as they unveiled the 2011 Explorer model. According to Ford executives, this new model will be exported to over 90 countries worldwide, helping to support 1,200 Ford jobs in the Chicago region, along with 600 new jobs in Michigan, Indiana, and Illinois. American efforts to increase exports through innovation will be a major component of achieving President Obama’s National Export Initiative goal of doubling U.S. exports in five years.

    “As auto products are America’s largest manufactured goods export category—accounting for 6 percent of U.S. exports—the success of our automakers is vitally important in helping us achieve this goal,” said Ambassador Kirk.

    Ambassador Kirk is working to provide America’s auto industry and the workers who drive it with access to the global market. For example, President Obama has asked Ambassador Kirk to resolve the outstanding issues in the U.S.-Korea trade agreement, with a focus on making sure our automakers get better access to the Korean market. Once these issues are resolved, the U.S.-Korea trade agreement holds the economic potential to support up to 70,000 additional American jobs across many sectors. USTR is committed to helping put Americans back to work by winning market access and enforcing our trade agreements abroad.

  • 07/26/2010 3:30 PM

    Today Deputy USTR Demetrios Marantis held a series of meetings with Indonesian government officials and private sector representatives in Jakarta, Indonesia. They discussed ways to resolve outstanding bilateral trade issues and specific approaches to further deepen U.S.- Indonesia trade and investment ties in the run up to the meetings of the Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA) and Joint Commission of the Comprehensive Partnership this fall. Ambassador Marantis met with Deputy Trade Minister Mahendra Siregar, Health Minister Endang Rahayu Sedyaningsih, Deputy Agriculture Minister Bayu Krisnamurthi, senior officials from Coordinating Ministry for Economic Affairs, and top business leaders.

    With a population of 240 million, Indonesia offers a substantial market for U.S. exporters. By working closely with Indonesia to overcome challenges to trade and investment flows, the United States aims to build on the $5.1 billion of U.S. exports to Indonesia in 2009 and give U.S. businesses greater access to the Indonesian market. So far in 2010 (from January to April), U.S. exports to Indonesia are up a substantial 50 percent, underscoring the success of these efforts.

    Ambassador Marantis with Deputy Trade Minister Mahendra Siregar
    Ambassador Marantis met with Deputy Trade Minister Mahendra Siregar

    Ambassador Marantis with Health Minister Endang Rahayu Sedyaningsih
    Ambassador Marantis with Health Minister Endang Rahayu Sedyaningsih

  • 07/26/2010 12:06 PM

    On Friday, Ambassador Kirk traveled to Toronto, where he held a roundtable with American Chamber of Commerce and Canadian business leaders on Friday. He also delivered the keynote speech and answered questions at an event hosted by the Toronto Board of Trade business leaders. Read Ambassador Kirk’s remarks here.

    Ambassador Kirk Speaks at the Toronto Board of TradeAmbassador Kirk Speaks at the Toronto Board of Trade

  • 07/23/2010 12:46 PM
    While in North Carolina on July 16, Ambassador Kirk sat down with WBTV to talk about growing North Carolina’s exports and jobs. Read the article about his trip here.
  • 07/22/2010 5:17 PM

    United States Trade Representative Ron Kirk met today in Ottawa with Canadian Minister of International Trade Peter Van Loan. The two discussed a number of topics including progress on the Doha round, the Softwood Lumber Agreement, regulatory cooperation that will aid small businesses, and the operation of the U.S.-Canada Government Procurement Agreement. Ambassador Kirk emphasized the importance of protecting creativity, and the importance of protecting creativity and innovation to spur economic growth between and within the two countries. The trade officials also updated one another about their countries' ongoing trade negotiations.

    Ambassador Kirk and Minister Van LoanAmbassador Kirk with Minister Van Loan in Ottawa, Canada

  • 07/21/2010 5:22 PM

    Deputy USTR Demetrios Marantis joined the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) Director John P. Holdren and other Administration officials on Tuesday at a meeting with  the People’s Republic of China to discuss a issues relating to the advancement of innovation.

    Read about the meeting on OSTP's blog.

  • 07/20/2010 5:36 PM

    On Sunday and Monday, United States Trade Representative Ron Kirk traveled to Denver, Colorado. During Ambassador Kirk’s visit, he met with U.S. and Brazilian business leaders, participated in a roundtable discussion on the U.S.- Korea Trade Agreement and spoke with Denver business leaders and attorneys. This Weekly Trade Spotlight focuses on how small and medium businesses in the Centennial State are using global trade to increase growth and put American jobs on the table.

    Of all the things that Colorado is known for – its natural beauty and cultural heritage, to name a few – one thing that continually shines is the entrepreneurial spirit of its people.

    Coloradans throughout the state have made a living and a profit, simply by harvesting their own ideas and sharing them with the world.

    During his trip to Denver, Ambassador Kirk met with many of these people: innovative business and community leaders who are using trade to launch their ideas on a global scale.

    Examples of this innovation and exploration can be found in the efforts of people and companies all over the state. While Colorado remains a strong state for agricultural exports, it is expanding to export cutting-edge technology and services throughout the world.

    CAP Worldwide has made a global business out of one idea: handling complex shipping challenges, with no size or weight restrictions, and delivering to even the most remote locations.

    This groundbreaking idea attracted international interest, and sales to Canada and Mexico has especially helped this business grow. Shipments skyrocketed, from 261 in 2007 to 1,594 in 2008. With this growth, the company is able to support more jobs in the United States.

    Optibrand, LLC founded by three Colorado State University professors and based in Fort Collins, Colorado, uses Global Positioning System technology to identify and trace livestock in a biometric and humane way.

    This company has been exporting since 2000, and is working with meat producers and processors in Central America to address the growing consumer demand for healthy, safe food products. By working on a global scale, the company is able to support 125 jobs at home.

    Geotech Environmental Equipment, Inc. manufactures environmental equipment and operates a 125,000 square-foot manufacturing plant and corporate headquarters in Denver. The company has sold products to more than 20,000 companies worldwide and continues in their double-digit growth.

    It is entrepreneurial ideas like these that make Colorado stand out to the world, and encourage international trade.

  • 07/20/2010 5:19 PM

    Ambassador Kirk was in Colorado yesterday talking to local business leaders at the World Trade Center of Denver. He hosted a roundtable discussion to talk about President Obama's National Export Initiative and the U.S.-Korea agreement.

    The first question that the Ambassador focused on was how the U.S.-Korea agreement would benefit the services sector. The agreement will provide greater market access across virtually all major service sectors, including express delivery services, legal services, research and development, education, health, telecommunications and financial services.

    Agriculture was the top issue for many participants, such as the National Farmers Union, National Cattlemen's Beef Association and the U.S. Meat Export Federation. Ambassador Kirk explained that the U.S.-Korea agreement will provide immediate duty-free treatment for almost two-thirds of current U.S. agricultural exports. All were interested in the opportunities that U.S.-Korea agreement will bring to their industry.

    In addition to speaking of the potential benefits of the agreement, Ambassador Kirk also provided an update on the status, and stated that USTR was working to resolve outstanding issues – especially related to autos and beef – to ensure that the agreement levels the playing field in Korea for American workers and producers and reflects American values.

  • 07/20/2010 3:12 PM

    On July 19, Deputy U.S. Trade Representative Miriam Sapiro met with Malcolm Harbour, Chairman of the European Parliament’s Internal Market and Consumer Protection Committee (IMCO) and Peter Skinner, a member of the European Parliament’s Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee. The discussion centered on ways in which the United States and the European Union (E.U.) can cooperate on regulatory issues to prevent future disputes over conflicting standards, saving time and money for businesses. Ambassador Sapiro also welcomed further engagement with the European Parliament on transatlantic issues, including helping small and medium-sized enterprises to find business opportunities abroad and create new jobs in both economies. Both sides remain optimistic about prospects for the Transatlantic Economic Council (TEC), which brings together regulators and policy-makers from both sides of the Atlantic.

    Ambassador Sapiro and Members of the European Parliament

    The U.S. economic relationship with the European Union’s 27 member-states is the largest and most complex in the world, generating trade and investment flows of about $2.7 billion a day and supporting 14 million jobs. The E.U. represents the #1 export market for the U.S., and merchandise exports of American goods to the E.U. are up 4.4% this year (as of May 2010).

  • 07/16/2010 2:35 PM

    Ambassador Kirk toured the University of North Carolina-Charlotte’s Technology Center today with the state’s 8th district Congressman, U.S. Rep. Larry Kissell (D). After the tour, Ambassador Kirk and Congressman Kissell met with local business leaders to discuss trade-related topics from intellectual property rights to USTR’s enforcement efforts regarding imports of Chinese tires. Ambassador Kirk also answered questions on how exports can foster job creation for North Carolina’s businesses.

    While in North Carolina, Ambassador Kirk has met with other elected officials, business leaders, and farmers in the Charlotte metropolitan area. In 2008, Charlotte area businesses exported $5 billion in goods and services. USTR has been working together to give North Carolina’s small- and medium-sized business owners an even better position in the global marketplace.

  • 07/16/2010 12:40 PM

    Deputy United States Trade Representative Miriam Sapiro traveled to New York yesterday to discuss the U.S. – Brazil trade relationship with members of the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) at their headquarters. The event, entitled “Brazil’s Role in the Global Economic System,” was part of CFR’s Global Brazil Initiative and sought to explore Brazil’s rising global economic aspirations, trade agenda, and role in multilateral economic institutions.

    Ambassador Sapiro discussed the importance of the U.S. - Brazil trade relationship, as Brazil is not only the largest economy in Latin America, but also the region’s largest market for American exports. U.S. exports to Brazil are growing at a faster rate than exports to the rest of the world. As such, Brazil can play an important role in the President’s National Export Initiative, which aims to double exports over the next five years and support two million new jobs. In order to increase exports to Brazil and further deepen the economic relationship, Ambassador Sapiro explained the need to urge Brazil to take action on reducing technical barriers to trade, protecting intellectual property rights (IPR), and enabling a successful completion of the Doha round by making market access contributions commensurate with its growing role in the world economy.

    Finally, Ambassador Sapiro described how USTR is engaging with Brazil on a multitude of levels. The two countries recently signed a framework regarding the Cotton dispute (link to release) and have begun initial discussions on negotiating a Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA). In addition, she highlighted that next week United States Trade Representative Ron Kirk will participate in the U.S. – Brazil CEO forum in Denver, where he will speak with leaders from business and government about the importance of the partnership between the two countries. More information about Ambassador Kirk’s trip can be found here (link).

    Ambassador Sapiro at CFR Event in New York

    Ambassador Sapiro engages in a conversation about the U.S. – Brazil trade relationship at the Council on Foreign Relations. Goods and services trade with Brazil totaled $80 billion in 2008. Brazil is the largest market for U.S. exports in Latin America, and the 10th largest goods export market overall.

  • 07/15/2010 4:06 PM

    United States Trade Representative Ron Kirk visited a broiler and sow operation and met with local agricultural leaders in Cabarrus County, North Carolina today. North Carolina is the country’s 13th largest agricultural exporting state, shipping $3.1 billion in agricultural exports abroad in FY 2008 (according to the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture). North Carolina is the largest state exporter of tobacco ($574 million), the 6th largest exporter of live animals and meat ($554 million), and the 3rd largest exporter of poultry ($481 million). These three exports categories along with soybeans ($360 million) and wheat ($315 million), accounted for 73 percent of North Carolina's agricultural exports in fiscal year 2008.

    Ambassador Kirk Tours Porter Family Farm
    Ambassador Kirk Tours Porter Family Farm

    After touring Tommy and Vicky Porter’s 500-acre Broiler and Sow operation in the morning, Ambassador Kirk met with the State Agricultural Commissioner Steve Troxler and various North Carolina farmers in a roundtable discussion at Marvin’s Fresh Farmhouse restaurant. Ambassador Kirk answered questions on topics ranging from local sweet potato production to the U.S.-Korea trade agreement. By accessing global markets through trade, North Carolina’s agricultural producers can continue to be competitive and create jobs.

    Ambassador Kirk with Commission Troxler and the PortersAmbassador Kirk with Commissioner Troxler and the Porters after touring the Porter Family Farm

  • 07/15/2010 2:57 PM

    Ambassador Kirk spoke at a reception to welcome the launch of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation’s (APEC) USA Host Committee event on Wednesday, July 14 to prepare for the United States hosting APEC in 2011, including the APEC meeting of Ministers Related to Trade (MRT) in Big Sky, Montana in May 2011. Ambassador Kirk emphasized the U.S.’s opportunity to partner with the economies in the Asia-Pacific region to promote trade by small and medium-sized businesses, create American jobs, increase U.S. exports and grow the American economy. For more information on the 2011 APEC event in Montana, please visit here

    Also present at the launch event were U.S. Senator Max Baucus (D-MT), Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, Congressman Kevin Brady (confirmed to speak), 2011 Host Committee Chairman Craig Mundie of Microsoft, Deborah Henretta, the Group President of Asia of the Procter & Gamble Company, and Monica Whaley, the President of the National Center for APEC (NCAPEC).

    The NCAPEC, a non-profit organization, is the only American business enterprise that focuses entirely on APEC issues. It consists of a Board of Governors represented by delegates from top U.S. companies, and it will function as Secretariat to the APEC 2011 USA Host Committee.

    Ambassador Kirk Speaks at the APEC 2011 Host Committee Dinner
    Ambassador Kirk Speaks at the APEC 2011 Host Committee Dinner

  • 07/14/2010 2:30 PM

    This week, United States Trade Representative Ron Kirk is traveling to North Carolina in his first domestic visit since receiving President Barack Obama’s direction to complete the U.S.-Korea trade agreement. The President has asked Ambassador Kirk to initiate new discussions with his Korean counterpart to resolve outstanding issues in a way that levels the playing field for U.S. workers and producers, with the objective of completing that process by November. This Weekly Trade Spotlight focuses on the how trade can help support well-paying jobs in the Tar Heel State.

    Since America’s earliest days, North Carolina has persisted as an industrial, financial, agricultural and academic hub. In the late 18th Century, gold was discovered in Charlotte and the city soon became home to a branch of the U.S. Mint; now the city is one of the nation’s most dynamic financial and banking centers. The state’s eastern Piedmont region boasts the Triangle Research Institute—a robust, cross-disciplinary research park which draws upon the intellectual resources of the state’s finest academic institutions to employ talented North Carolinians and bring scientific innovation to the world market.

    In 2008, 217,000 jobs were supported by North Carolina’s goods exports. These U.S. jobs supported by exports pay an estimated 13 to 18 percent higher than the national average wage. The U.S.-Korea trade agreement will benefit the North Carolina economy and create even more jobs by improving access for North Carolina goods and services in Korea’s $1 trillion economy, and by establishing fair ground rules in Korea so that North Carolina workers and businesses can compete on a level playing field.

    North Carolina’s businesses provide myriad examples of how increasing exports abroad yields job creation and economic growth here in the United States, especially in the manufacturing sector. Indeed, exports accounted for 17.8 percent of its manufacturing output and represented 19 percent of its total manufacturing employment in 2008.

    A revolving door manufacturing company in Lilington, NC employs 120 Americans and has been exporting its high design, technically advanced products for four years. One Charlotte metal manufacturer has been exporting its products to Chile for more than 20 years and currently supports 94 jobs here at home. It is small and medium-sized manufacturers like these that are creating jobs in the United States by supplying markets worldwide. With the passage of the U.S.-Korea trade agreement, many manufactured goods produced in North Carolina will enter Korea duty free immediately, making their products more price-competitive in Korea.

    North Carolina’s export opportunities in the U.S.-Korea trade agreement are not limited to the manufacturing sector. In North Carolina, farmers exported over $3.1 billion in agricultural products in 2008. These products span the range of agricultural opportunities; North Carolina is the nation’s leading exporter of tobacco, the sixth largest exporter of live animals and meat, and the third largest exporter of poultry. By exporting American agricultural goods abroad, North Carolina farmers are staying competitive and fostering job growth here at home. The implementation of the U.S.-Korea trade agreement will eliminate Korean duties on major North Carolina agricultural products such as soybeans, cotton, and tomatoes, and most pork products will become duty free.

    During Ambassador Kirk's travels, he will visit a broiler and sow operation in the Charlotte-area, and will discuss opportunities for export growth in the agricultural sector with local farmers, business leaders, and elected officials.

  • 07/12/2010 10:53 AM

    Speaking with Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Trade Director Ken Ash on May 28, Deputy USTR Miriam Sapiro talks about resisting protectionism, the benefits of trade liberalisation and addressing public concerns about the effects of more open markets. Watch the video below.

  • 07/09/2010 2:28 PM

    On July 9, Ambassador Kirk met with William P. Hite the General President of the United Association (UA).

    The United Association of Journeymen and Apprentices of the Plumbing and Pipe Fitting Industry of the United States and Canada or "UA" as it is commonly known, is a multi-craft union whose members are engaged in the fabrication, installation and servicing of piping systems. There are approximately 326,000 highly-skilled United Association members who belong to over 300 individual local unions across North America.

    Ambassador Kirk and General President Hite discussed ways in which his organization could work with USTR to continue on the path of economic growth as well as the many benefits of international trade.

    Ambassador Kirk and General President Hite

  • 07/07/2010 2:10 PM
    Ambassador Kirk joined President Obama today as he announced the progress report on the National Export Initiative. Read the progress report here and the President's remarks here.
  • 07/06/2010 5:27 PM

    In honor of Independence Day, is highlighting America’s strong and storied manufacturing sector. From the Industrial Revolution to the present, the United States has remained a manufacturing “superpower.”

    Containing less than 5 percent of the world’s population, the United States produced more than 19 percent of global manufacturers in 2008 according to the World Bank. The United States is the world’s largest producer of manufactured products, producing 18 percent more than the second largest producer China—a country with a population more than four times greater than that of the United States. Indeed, exports from our manufacturing sector supported jobs for more than 6.8 million Americans in 2008.

    Despite the recent recession, the longer term path of U.S. manufacturing is one of solid growth. For example, from 1998 to 2007 or just before the current recession, manufacturing output grew at an average annual rate of 3.6 percent, compared to a growth rate of 2.9 percent for the overall economy. The recession hit U.S. manufacturing very hard. Output fell by more than 17 percent between July, 2007 and June, 2009, according to Federal Reserve data.

    The good news is that U.S. manufacturing production is helping to lead economic recovery. Between June 2009 and May 2010 output grew at a greater than 10 percent annual rate Also, manufacturing has accounted for roughly 20 percent of overall job gains so far in this early stage of recovery.

    As manufacturing experiences solid longer-term growth overall, there can be marked differences among the growth rates of individual industries. For example, production of computer and electronic products, now America’s largest manufacturing industry, grew 543 percent between 1998 and 2007, accounting for 45 percent of the total growth in U.S. manufacturing output over that period. In addition, motor vehicles and parts production in the United States, grew by better than 36 percent over the period, in line with the overall increase in U.S. manufacturing production.

    While manufacturing jobs are increasing as the economy recovers, there is no denying that over the last three decades total manufacturing employment has been trending down. Manufacturing job loss has sometimes been attributed to declining U.S. production caused by an excess of imports over exports in the U.S. trade balance. However, U.S. manufacturing production grows regularly. What especially characterizes U.S. manufacturing is its high rate of productivity growth: 3.4 percent a year over the last 22 years, a rate one and a half times faster than productivity growth in the overall U.S. business economy. This productivity growth has meant that U.S. manufacturing production could expand despite a decline in total work needed to produce the output. Plainly, the United States is producing more goods, more efficiently.

    Increasing U.S. exports is necessary to foster job creation in our manufacturing sector. In accordance with President Obama’s National Export Initiative (NEI), USTR is taking steps to double U.S. exports in the next five years. Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) provide manufacturing companies access to global markets, and exporting our manufactured products abroad helps small and medium-sized businesses create jobs here at home.

    In fact, there are nearly 3.7 million American manufacturing jobs supported by exports of goods and services, which account for 27 percent of all employment in the manufacturing sector. One chemical manufacturing company in Georgia, which employs 35 people, supports up to 30% of its gross sales through exports. A Texas pipe manufacturing firm was able to hire seven more workers at home by exporting just five percent of its production. All across the United States, small and medium-sized manufacturing companies like these are creating jobs and increasing revenue by exporting their goods abroad. However, high tariffs in some countries threaten this success. That is why USTR is working diligently to establish FTAs that grant our manufacturing firms the market access necessary to compete in the global economy.

    The U.S.-Korea FTA presents our manufacturing industries with huge potential export increases. According to a report from the International Trade Commission, the implementation of a U.S-Korea FTA will result in an increase of more than 13 percent in the U.S. automobile industry’s exports to Korea. Chemical manufacturers accounted for 14.6 percent of average U.S industrial exports to Korea in 2006-2008, totaling $5.2 billion. Korean tariffs in this sector average six percent. According to Department of Commerce analysis, tariffs on high-trade U.S. goods will be eliminated within three years of implementation of the U.S.-Korea FTA. The Agreement will be a fundamental and positive step toward achieving the goals of the National Export Initiative.

    The United States is recognized by the international community as a nation of innovators, especially in our robust manufacturing sector. However, the vast expenditures on research and development needed to invent the manufactured products of tomorrow are more easily undertaken by American industry when these products can be sold around the world rather than in the U.S. market alone. Manufacturing is important to America and opening world markets through international trade is vital to American manufacturing sector and its workers.

  • 07/01/2010 5:28 PM

    The 9th round of negotiations on the proposed Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) was held in Lucerne, Switzerland from 28 June to 1 July 2010, hosted by Switzerland. Participants in the negotiations included Australia, Canada, the European Union, represented by the European Commission, the EU Presidency (Spain, then Belgium on July 1) and EU Member States, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Morocco, New Zealand, Singapore, Switzerland and the United States of America. Here are what some people are saying about the round:

    ICC's Business Action to Stop Counterfeiting and Piracy (BASCAP) and the International Trademark Association (INTA)

    U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Global Intellectual Property Center (GIPC)

    BUSINESSEUROPE, the International Intellectual Property Protection Forum of Japan (IIPPF), and the Global Intellectual Property Center (GIPC)