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  • 10/27/2010 2:51 PM

    A World Trade Organization panel ruled last week in favor of the United States in a dispute brought by China regarding anti-dumping and countervailing duties. This trade spotlight clarifies the issues involved in the case.

    The use/application of anti-dumping and countervailing duties is accepted in the international community as a right of countries to respond to the unfair trade practices of others.

    Anti-dumping duties (AD) are tariffs placed on unfairly low-priced imports to protect the competitiveness of local companies. If a foreign company is found to be pricing its goods below the normal value in order to undermine the competition in an export market, the importing country has the right to protect the viability of their businesses and level the playing field.

    Countervailing duties (CVD) respond to a different unfair trade practice. When a government gives subsidies to its companies that export, it makes those companies more competitive in foreign markets. To offset this unfair advantage, the importing country can impose countervailing duties on the subsidized product and restore fair competition.

    The United States is proud of its commitment of standing up for Americans by promoting fair trade. Its imposition of anti-dumping and countervailing duties on certain products as discussed in this case, including circular welded pipe, pneumatic off-the-road tires, light-walled rectangular pipe and tubes, and laminated woven sacks, are a demonstration of U.S. dedication to protecting American companies from the unfair trade practices of other countries.

    The World Trade Organization’s finding on AD and CVD issues on October 22 is confirmation of the United States’ ability under the WTO rules to counter the negative effects of unfairly-priced and subsidized imports. In particular, the WTO panel defended the right of countries to use special rules to calculate antidumping duties, and impose both antidumping and countervailing duties at the same time on imports from China.

    USTR and the Obama administration have outlined a trade policy that protects and promotes American companies and will continue to fight for fair competition for American products at home and abroad.

  • 10/22/2010 1:45 PM

    Yesterday, United States Trade Representative Ron Kirk sat down with Lieutenant Governor Kim Guadagno and local business leaders in Newark, New Jersey, to discuss ways in which exports can help Garden State businesses succeed. He shared ways that USTR is working to make to it cheaper, faster, and easier for American businesses to export their goods to customers overseas. Ambassador Kirk also discussed how the Garden State’s small- and medium-sized businesses can help propel America’s economy forward and create jobs for New Jersey workers by selling products and services in foreign markets. Overall, in 2008, more than 150,000 jobs in New Jersey were supported by goods exports.

    The Garden State was the latest stop in Ambassador Kirk’s tour throughout the U.S. to discuss President Obama’s National Export Initiative, which aims to double American exports in five years, supporting two million additional jobs.

    Ambassador Kirk with Lt Gov Guadagno
    Ambassador Kirk with Lieutenant Governor Kim Guadagn

  • 10/18/2010 3:03 PM

    This week, United States Trade Representative Ron Kirk is traveling to New York. New York’s global export sales support thousands of jobs around the state and help build a stronger regional economy.

    In 2009, the Empire State’s goods exports totaled $57.3 billion, a 34 percent increase over the last decade. Exports are a key component of the state’s economy, benefitting workers and businesses throughout the state.

    New York is the third largest exporter of goods in the country, supporting an estimated 293,000 jobs to the state in 2008. Exports come from a diverse array of goods, including manufactured products, electronics, and transportation equipment.

    Companies selling manufactured products have shown substantial growth in exported goods over the past decade. Producers in the field of petroleum and coal products exported $1.3 billion in 2009, a nearly 1400 percent jump in just nine years. That improvement is a harbinger of the potential for New York’s exporting capacity, in that field and others.

    New York also has a sizeable agricultural community that is bolstered by $927 million in international export sales in 2009. As the third largest exporter of dairy products and the sixth largest exporter of fruits and preparations, New York relies heavily on exporting to support farmers and producers in the area.

    The considerable contributions made by New York to the country’s export totals support jobs in the region, and exporting holds great promise to foster variety and growth in the state’s economy. USTR continues to support New York’s efforts by opening markets around the world and enforcing existing trade agreements.

  • 10/14/2010 3:30 PM

    Today Ambassador Kirk met with Honeywell International CEO David Cote. Mr. Cote serves on the President’s Deficit Commission and was named co-chair of the U.S.-India CEO Forum by President Obama in 2009.

    Honeywell International is a global company headquartered in New Jersey that supports about 58,000 jobs in the United States and 122,000 total jobs worldwide. The company strives to invent and manufacture new technology that will help increase global safety and security.

    It’s a company that thrives on trade to do business. In fact, it’s a leading exporter in over 100 countries worldwide. USTR is dedicated to opening markets and maintaining a level playing field so that companies like Honeywell can export more in support of U.S. American jobs.

  • 10/13/2010 5:24 PM


    This week, Ambassador Ron Kirk and Commerce Secretary Gary Locke are visiting the front lines of global trade in Memphis, Tennessee. That’s where Ambassador Kirk and Secretary Locke got a behind-the-scenes look at the FedEx global operations hub, one of the busiest transportation and logistics centers in the world. They toured the site at midnight to get a sense of how FedEx operates around the clock, sending over eight million packages daily to more than 220 countries. That enormous volume of trade activity supports 230,000 FedEx jobs in the United States, including 30,000 in the Volunteer State.

    Their trip is part of the Obama Administration’s ongoing outreach efforts to listen and learn from American workers, farmers, and firms both small and large who are benefiting from trade.


    Also today, Ambassador Kirk and Secretary Locke attended a town hall with Memphis-area small businesses that benefit from increased export opportunities. Local small business owners shared their export success stories in industries ranging from medical devices to heating and lighting equipment.

    Ambassador Kirk discussed how USTR is working to open new markets and make it cheaper, faster, and easier for small businesses to export. Secretary Locke highlighted how small business owners can get started exporting by visiting the one-stop shop online at

    Both Ambassador Kirk and Secretary Locke are emphasizing how small businesses are a crucial part of the President’s National Export Initiative, which aims to double exports over the next five years in support of two million additional jobs.


  • 10/12/2010 9:57 AM

    Ambassador Kirk’s travels this week take him to Memphis, Tennessee. Nicknamed the Volunteer State, Tennessee's vibrant exporting economy supports jobs and grows businesses in the region.

    From medical instruments to machinery and electronics, Tennessee has seen substantial growth in exports in recent years.

    The state exported over $20 billion in 2009, more than doubling its international sales over a decade. The Memphis metropolitan area alone exported more than $9 billion in goods in 2008. This impressive increase is a testament to the growing export capacity of Tennessee and the entire United States.

    Growth in export sales helps build larger and more secure businesses and these businesses drive job creation and support workers across the state. More than 160,000 jobs are estimated to be supported by goods exports from Tennessee.

    Ambassador Kirk’s visit to the state this week will highlight the tremendous growth Tennessee has shown in producing and exporting goods – like a 500 percent jump in the exports of assorted manufactured goods, and its position as the eighth-largest state to export cotton and linters.

    USTR and President Obama believe that a strong economic future will require a retooling of American goods and a renewed position in the world. The Volunteer State is rising to the challenge, exporting to new and emerging markets and expanding its contributions to the world economies, all of which help to support local workers and businesses.

    Tennessee’s efforts are supported by USTR’s continued work to secure open trading opportunities and ensure a fair marketplace for American companies.

  • 10/08/2010 12:07 PM

    Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations continued in Brunei today with negotiating groups from the nine TPP countries (Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Chile, Malaysia, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, Vietnam, and the United States) holding meetings on agriculture, services, investment, government procurement, competition, environment, and labor. The groups focused on the objectives that they had set for this round: preparation of consolidated text and proposals for cooperation. Negotiations will continue through Saturday, with groups on telecommunications, e-commerce, textiles, customs, technical barriers to trade, and trade capacity building beginning Friday.

    Government officials and business representatives joined on Thursday for a full-day seminar on labor, during which TPP delegations discussed their respective approaches to incorporating labor provisions in their trade agreements. During the seminar, Assistant U.S. Trade Representative Lewis Karesh gave a presentation on the U.S. approach, focusing on labor provisions in U.S. trade agreements, the importance of respecting fundamental labor rights, and ways to ensure the effective enforcement of labor law. Other TPP delegations also gave presentations, including Brunei's Commissioner of Labor Hajah Rosliah Hasbollah, who discussed the administration and enforcement of labor law in Brunei.

    The TPP partners reached consensus on Malaysia's request to join the negotiations on Tuesday of this week, following which USTR Ron Kirk notified Congress of the Administration’s intent to include Malaysia in the ongoing negotiations. Visit to see these notification letters, and for complete information on U.S. participation in the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

  • 10/07/2010 10:45 AM

    The nine Trans-Pacific Partnership countries (Australia, Brunei, Chile, Malaysia, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, Vietnam, and the United States) continue to meet in Brunei Darussalam this week for a third round of TPP negotiations. In all, 24 negotiating groups will convene this week to discuss the full range of issues to be covered by the agreement.

    As of Thursday, groups covering industrial goods, agriculture, textiles, sanitary and phytosanitary standards, services, investment, financial services, intellectual property and environment had met and made progress in all areas. Discussions also began on cross-cutting issues including promoting competitiveness, supply chain development, making it easier for small- and medium-sized enterprises to take advantage of the eventual Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement, and development, with teams exchanging proposals for further work in all areas.

    As was the case with June’s U.S.-hosted TPP negotiating round in San Francisco, California, stakeholders have been welcomed on-site at the negotiations in Brunei, and many have participated in public seminars on sanitary and phytosanitary and environmental issues.

    The TPP partners reached consensus on Malaysia's request to join the negotiations on Tuesday of this week, following which USTR Ron Kirk notified Congress of the Administration’s intent to include Malaysia in the ongoing negotiations. Visit to see these notification letters, and for complete information on U.S. participation in the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

  • 10/06/2010 4:47 PM

    Continuing to highlight President Obama’s National Export Initiative, Ambassador Kirk started off his second day in Arkansas by hosting a business roundtable. He spoke with local small business owners on how increasing American exports can help to create and sustain jobs in the state. Arkansas’ exports were up 103 percent in 2009 from 2000, with nearly 40 percent of its total global goods exported to countries with which the United States of America has trade agreements. The Little Rock metropolitan area accounted for 29 percent of Arkansas’ total goods exports in 2008.

    In the afternoon Ambassador Kirk visited the University of Arkansas - Pine Bluff. After meeting with the faculty and students, he gave a speech at the University of Arkansas, Clinton School of Public Service. Emphasizing that trade can be a job-creating pillar of economic recovery in the United States, he discussed the how increased exports can help grow jobs in Arkansas and strengthen the middle class across America.

  • 10/05/2010 3:49 PM

    Ambassador Kirk touched down in Arkansas last night for a two-day visit to the Little Rock region. He began the morning with members of the Little Rock Regional Chamber of Commerce, answering questions and discussing international trade issues.

    Later, he joined Senator Blanche Lincoln for a meeting with representatives of the poultry industry. While there, he highlighted the significance of opening international markets to support Arkansas jobs and businesses from around the state. Ambassador Kirk then toured the University of Arkansas Pine Bluff campus with Senator Lincoln and commended the school for its focus on rural development and expanding agriculture.

    Later in the day, Ambassador Kirk hosted an Agricultural Commodity roundtable discussion. He emphasized USTR’s efforts to promote exports under the President’s National Export Initiative, and listened to and addressed the concerns of Arkansas farmers, workers, and agricultural producers.

    Arkansas has demonstrated substantial growth in exports over the last decade and USTR is working to continue to open new markets and enforce current trade agreements - to help support broader growth of the state’s economy and create more Arkansas jobs.

    Read this week's trade spotlight to learn more about how exports are helping Arkansas businesses grow.

  • 10/05/2010 10:05 AM

    United States Trade Representative Ron Kirk is traveling this week to Little Rock, Arkansas. This Weekly Trade Spotlight demonstrates the importance of trade to workers and firms both small and large throughout the state.

    Arkansas is the “Natural State,” and a natural part of life in Arkansas is exporting. In fact, it is estimated that 69,000 Arkansas jobs were supported by exports of goods from the state in 2008. And more than 1,000 Arkansas small- and medium-sized businesses were exporting in 2007.

    In 2009 alone, Arkansas shipped out more than $5 billion worth of merchandise, more than a 100 percent increase from 2000, and a 36 percent increase from 2005. That’s more than twice the average increase for U.S. goods exports over the same time. Trade is becoming an increasingly important part of Arkansas’ economy.

    The state's leading export category is transportation equipment, which alone accounted for 35 percent of Arkansas' total merchandise exports in 2009. Other top exports were processed foods, chemicals, and machinery.

    Ambassador Kirk and USTR are working to help Arkansas producers sell to more markets. President Obama’s National Export Initiative (NEI) and trade agreements, like the U.S. - Korea trade agreement, represent opportunities to support more jobs in Arkansas through increased exports. Provisions in the U.S.-Korea trade agreement, such as the elimination of tariffs on U.S. appliances to Korea, will help exporters of one of the leading Little Rock-area products – fabricated metal products like household appliances – to find new consumers and reach new horizons.

    USTR works every day to open up world markets and secure emerging opportunities for Arkansas’ small businesses.

  • 10/01/2010 2:21 PM

    Ambassador Kirk met with Panama’s Vice President and Minister of Foreign Affairs Juan Carlos Varela on September 30 to discuss a range of matters of mutual interest, including issues relating to the United States – Panama Trade Promotion Agreement.

    The United States is Panama’s largest trading partner. The United States exported $4.3 billion worth of goods to Panama in 2009. Topping the list of exported goods were mineral fuel, machinery, electrical machinery and aircraft. The U.S. also exported almost $400 million in agricultural goods to Panama. These goods include coarse grains, soybean meal and wheat. Total goods traded between the United States and Panama was $4.6 billion during 2009.

    Ambassador Kirk and Minister Varela
    Abassador Kirk with Panama Vice President Juan Carlos Varela

  • 10/01/2010 9:31 AM

    On Thursday, Ambassador Kirk welcomed Ambassador Anund Neewor, Mauritian Secretary for Foreign Affairs, to Washington, D.C. to participate in the fourth U.S.-Mauritius Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA) Council meeting.

    Mauritius has an open and dynamic economy in Sub-Saharan Africa and is a leader among developing countries seeking to advance economic development through trade. The TIFA has provided mutual benefits for both the United States and Mauritius. It has significantly enhanced cooperation between Mauritius and U.S. trade agencies on topics such as trade promotion, sanitary and phytosanitary issues, and trade-related infrastructure. The TIFA has also served as a direct forum for representatives of U.S. companies to engage directly with Mauritian officials. Furthermore, as a result of work under the TIFA, Mauritian firms have participated in a variety of U.S. trade shows, resulting in millions of dollars in new trade deals.

    In 2009, total trade between the United States and Mauritius was valued at nearly $240 million, with U.S. exports of $70 million, a 37 percent increase from the previous year.