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  • 09/28/2010 4:00 PM

    Ambassador Kirk attended a roundtable event with Congressman Gerald Connolly (VA-11) in Vienna, Virginia on Monday. Local businesses discussed the benefits of trade for their companies and the local and regional economy. Ambassador Kirk joined local business leaders such as Dr. Jay Kim, Chairman and CEO of JWK Corporation, William Hwang, President of Northern Virginia Korean Community, and Todd House, of Micron Technology, Inc. Representatives from the Fairfax County and Prince William Chambers of Commerce, the Northern Virginia Technology Council, Google, were in attendance too.

    Small- and medium-sized businesses are the primary source of jobs for Americans and account for the largest group of U.S. exporters. Fifteen percent of Virginia manufacturing workers, which account for three percent of all private sector employment, depend on exports for their jobs. Opening new markets and enforcing America’s trade agreements, in conjunction with the National Export Initiative, will help to double U.S. exports over the next five years and support as many as two million additional American jobs. USTR is working to help Virginia businesses increase their exports and help America’s economic recovery.

  • 09/27/2010 3:00 PM

    On Thursday, September 30, United States Trade Representative Ron Kirk and Deputy United States Trade Representative Demetrios Marantis will meet with Mauritian officials to discuss strengthening the U.S.-Mauritian trade and investment relationship and the progress made under the Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA), which was signed in 2006. This Weekly Trade Spotlight highlights the benefits of U.S.-Mauritian trade for both American and Mauritian workers and businesses.

    Four years ago, the United States and Mauritius signed the Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA), which is a mechanism for the U.S. Government to support the Mauritian Government’s efforts to liberalize and expand trade and investment, and to work with Mauritius to enhance opportunities for U.S. job-creating exports of goods and services. Each year, the two countries hold a Trade and Investment Council meeting to discuss various issues involving trade and investment.

    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.

    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.

    Mauritius is a major beneficiary and a strong partner with the United States on implementing the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), which helps sub-Saharan African countries integrate better into the world trading system. Under AGOA, U.S. exports in the region have doubled to $15 billion.

    The United States and Mauritius also launched Bilateral Investment Treaty (BIT) negotiations just over a year ago in August 2009. The purpose of these ongoing BIT negotiations will be to help protect private investment, to further encourage the development of market-oriented policies in Mauritius, and to promote U.S. exports.

    The United States is proud of its continuing economic involvement with Mauritius, a country with an impressive track record on democracy, economic growth, openness to foreign direct investment, economic diversification, and the expansion of trade. It has successfully developed from a low-income, agriculturally based economy to a middle-income diversified economy with growing industrial, financial, and tourist sectors.

    Continuing our strong partnership with Mauritius will help this impressive African country become more competitive in the world economy, as well as help American businesses and families by creating new investment and export opportunities.

  • 09/24/2010 4:36 PM

    Ambassador Kirk today led a roundtable discussion with members of the Television Association of Programmers Latin America. They discussed the importance of combating piracy and signal theft, along with other industry concerns. USTR has focused a spotlight on intellectual property protection, including taking part in ongoing negotiations of the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement and engaging in a leadership role on bilateral and regional efforts to address these issues.

    Ambassador Kirk appreciated the opportunity to hear the concerns of the Latin American Programmers. He believes that strong protection and enforcement of intellectual property rights supports American innovation, creativity, and job creation. Florida’s extensive trade relationships with Latin America amplify the importance of intellectual property rights in the region, and Ambassador Kirk will continue his work to extend anti-piracy efforts there.

    Ambassador Kirk also discussed USTR’s efforts to highlight exports and open trade as a keystone to developing a strong economy and supporting job creation. The President’s National Export Initiative seeks to double U.S. exports over five years in an effort to build businesses, allowing them to create jobs. Ambassador Kirk’s efforts over the past months have focused heavily on opening markets around the world through cooperative agreements and relationships, affording American companies and workers new opportunities.

  • 09/24/2010 11:20 AM

    Ambassador Kirk began a full day in Florida on Thursday by addressing Miami residents on the importance of exports to the future of Florida’s economy. He spoke on economic development Thursday morning, before hosting a small business roundtable discussion. Participants of the roundtable included Miami-Dade County Commissioner Jose Diaz along with a number of small- and medium-sized business owners in the region. Ambassador Kirk encouraged panelists to focus on building export sales and trade relationships to support their businesses and develop new markets for their products and services. In the afternoon, the Ambassador received a Key to the County of Miami-Dade, presented to him by Commissioner Diaz.

    Ambassador Kirk then traveled to Fort Lauderdale, Florida. While there, he talked with U.S. Export Assistance Center employees and thanked them for their work in assisting the region’s small businesses in developing their export capabilities. Ambassador Kirk addressed the International Trade Stakeholder Meeting where he led a roundtable discussion on the future of exports and President Obama’s National Export Initiative, which seeks to double American exports over the next five years.

    Miami was the leading metropolitan area exporter in Florida for the year 2008, exporting $33 billion in goods. Ambassador Kirk emphasized the importance of exports to the region, both in expanding businesses and in supporting job creation. USTR works to buoy American exports by creating new trade relationships and ensuring the fair enforcement of existing trade agreements.

  • 09/22/2010 5:18 PM

    U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk met today with Mexico’s Secretary of the Economy, Bruno Ferrari. Secretary Ferrari was appointed as Economy Secretary in July 2010 and is making his first visit to Washington in his new capacity. Prior to taking his position as Secretary of the Economy, Ferrari was Director General of ProMéxico, Mexico’s foreign trade and investment promotion body. Ambassador Kirk and Secretary Ferrari discussed a broad range of bilateral trade and investment issues of mutual interest to the United States and Mexico.

    The United States is Mexico’s largest trading partner, while Mexico is the second largest export market for the United States.

    Ambassador Kirk and Minister Ferrari
    Ambassador Kirk and Minister Ferrari

  • 09/22/2010 4:47 PM

    Ambassador Kirk met with Australian Minister for Trade Dr. Craig Emerson on Tuesday. This was his first meeting with Minister Emerson, who was appointed to trade minister earlier this month, and Ambassador Kirk was pleased to welcome Dr. Emerson to the United States.

    Ambassador Kirk and Minister Emerson discussed issues facing the next round of Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) to be held in Brunei next month. The TPP is a vehicle for Asia-Pacific-wide economic integration, which will strengthen U.S. ties to the robust economies of this region. The goal is to expand the membership in successive clusters to include countries across the region, which represents more than half of global output and over 40 percent of world trade. The current TPP negotiating partners include the United States, Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Chile, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, and Vietnam.

    The Ambassador and Minister also talked about the WTO Doha Development Round talks and the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement negotiations.

    The United States’ goods and services trade with Australia totaled $51 billion in 2008, and U.S. goods exports last year were up 37.8 percent from before our bilateral FTA was signed in 2005.

    Ambassador Kirk and Minister Dr. Emerson
    Ambassador Kirk and Minister Emerson

  • 09/22/2010 4:06 PM

    On Tuesday, Ambassador Kirk met with New Zealand Minister of Trade Tim Groser. The United States shares a strong relationship with New Zealand, and is working to further develop regional and bilateral trade policies. The Ambassador and Minister discussed our bilateral trade relationship, the WTO Doha Development Round negotiations, and the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) talks.

    They also discussed the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations. TPP is a regional free trade agreement between the United States and seven Asia-Pacific countries, including New Zealand. The second round of TPP negotiations were held in San Francisco in June, and the next round is scheduled to take place in Brunei in October. Successful conclusion of the TPP agreement, which will serve as a platform for economic integration across the Asia-Pacific region, can help America ensure its share of the job-creating economic opportunities this region has to offer.

    U.S. goods and services trade with New Zealand totaled $9.2 billion in 2008 (latest data available total trade data).

    Ambassador Kirk and Minister Groser
    Ambassador Kirk and Minister Groser

  • 09/21/2010 12:04 PM

    Today, Ambassador Kirk met with India’s Minister for Commerce and Industry Anand Sharma during the seventh ministerial session of the U.S.-India Trade Policy Forum in Washington, D.C.

    The Obama Administration has worked to build on the United States’ strong relationship with India by significantly increasing our trade with, and investment in, the world’s largest democracy. The U.S.-India Trade Policy Forum (TPF) serves as a setting in which both countries bolster this burgeoning economic relationship by cooperating closely on areas of shared interest and working constructively to resolve areas of difference.

    The dynamic growth of the Indian economy and its increasing importance to the United States as a strategic trade partner means that fostering solid connections between the United States and India opens valuable markets to American companies and supports job creation within the United States. Through the Trade Policy Forum, USTR remains committed to trade as one way to support jobs in the United States, and looks forward to continuing to work with India in the future.

    Ambassador Kirk and Minister Sharma Meet During 2010 TPF
    Ambassador Kirk and Minister Sharma during the 2010 U.S.-India Trade Policy Forum


  • 09/21/2010 9:52 AM

    Deputy U.S. Trade Representative Demetrios Marantis welcomed India’s Secretary of Commerce and Industry Rahul Khullar this morning at the start of the seventh session of the U.S.-India Trade Policy Forum, offering opening remarks to encourage a productive and cooperative meeting.

    The U.S.-India Trade Policy Forum was established in 2005 to encourage continuing, high-level engagement on trade and investment issues between the United States and India with a view to resolving commercial disagreements as expeditiously as possible. The Forum covers wide-ranging areas of interest to firms and workers in both countries, including agriculture, investment, services, and tariff and non-tariff barriers. This week’s Forum will focus on unjustified import restrictions maintained on U.S. agricultural products, progress toward the opening of the Indian retail sector to foreign ownership, addressing trade-restrictive telecommunications regulations, local content requirements for solar projects, and compulsory licensing and other patent-related issues.

    Ambassador Marantis delivers opening remarks at the 2010 U.S.-India Trade Policy ForumAmbassador Marantis delivers opening remarks at the 2010 U.S.-India Trade Policy Forum

  • 09/20/2010 4:22 PM

    Ambassador Kirk joined Maryland Secretary of Business and Economic Development Christian S. Johansson, Baltimore Port Commissioner Peta Richkus, and Executive Director of Maryland’s Port Administration James White for a trade roundtable at the World Trade Center in Baltimore today. He discussed the President’s National Export Initiative, the positive effects of exports on Maryland’s economy and Maryland’s exports to Asia and the Transpacific Partnership (TPP) agreement. TPP will be a high-standard, 21st century trade agreement that will help significantly increase U.S. exports to the robust Asia-Pacific region.

    Ambassador Kirk followed up the trade roundtable with a tour of Marlin Steel Wire Products, a small business in Baltimore. Exporting to North and South America, Europe, Asia, Africa and Australia, Marlin Steel Wire Products is a prime example of what can be achieved by a local business through access to foreign markets. Small businesses are a vital part to the U.S. economy. In 2007, 86 percent of Maryland companies exporting were small- and medium-sized companies, employing fewer than 500 employees.

    Ambassador Kirk Tours Marlin Steel Wire Products in Baltimore, Maryland
    Ambassador Kirk Tours Marlin Steel Wire Products in Baltimore, Maryland

    Marlin Steel Wire Products is also a part of Maryland’s manufacturing sector. In 2009, Maryland’s exports of manufactured products increased by 95 percent between 2000 and 2009 to $8.4 billion. USTR is committed to facilitating trade in the global market, creating new opportunities for small-and medium-sized businesses to export and encouraging production and investment in the United States.

  • 09/20/2010 3:05 PM

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

    Residents of South Florida and people across the state rely on the benefits of trade for jobs and building their businesses. Florida ranks as one of the highest exporting states in the country. Florida companies continue to foster extensive trade relationships to take advantage of new opportunities to create jobs, and build a solid economic foundation.

    Total exports of goods from Florida were valued at more than $45 billion for 2009. In 2008, 65 percent of Florida’s total exports originated in the Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Miami Beach area. Statewide, exports support 168,000 jobs. Florida sends a large volume of its exports to Central and South America, as well as Europe and Asia. Countries like Brazil, China, and Colombia are increasingly large markets, and Florida exporters have new opportunities to capture a growing portion of the market share in those countries.

    Florida companies, from medical research facilities to green energy enterprises, have been able to build profitable and growing operations, in part due to an expansion of sales overseas. High-technology equipment and parts, including computer and television equipment, account for the top exports from the state and drive job creation in these growing industries.

    The Port of Miami, positioned in Biscayne Bay, is strategically located and a valuable resource to the state and the country. Hundreds of corporations, from media companies to consumer electronics manufacturers, have stationed their Latin American headquarters in and around Miami, a testament to the shipping and export power of the city.

    With increasingly open markets and an impressive, expanding capacity for exports, South Florida is a great place for small- and medium-sized businesses to take advantage of trade, grow their businesses, and drive job creation. By diversifying their markets, these South Florida businesses can build a more stable future for their employees.

    The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative is working on behalf of Floridians and all Americans to open new markets and secure new opportunities through trade. By building upon trade relationships with other countries, businesses, workers, and communities are all able to reap the benefits of global trade.

  • 09/20/2010 11:28 AM

    Today, Ambassador Kirk began his day with a tour of the Port of Baltimore. Focusing on how exports are a catalyst to the United States’ economic recovery and a source for creating new jobs, Ambassador Kirk discussed the importance of opening new markets for American products. This event is a continuation of his efforts to highlight President Obama’s National Export Initiative, which seeks to double U.S. exports within the next five years.

    Ambassador Kirk at the Port of Baltimore
    Ambassador Kirk at the Port of Baltimore

    Maryland exports to Asia alone accounted for $1.9 billion in 2009. In 2009, Maryland was the 28th largest state exporter of goods, totaling $9.2 billion, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce. In 2008, the Baltimore- Townson metropolitan area was responsible for 63 percent of Maryland’s total goods. USTR is committed to opening new markets and creating new jobs and export opportunities for Maryland businesses and workers.

  • 09/17/2010 10:55 AM

    Ambassador Kirk and GSK CEO Andrew WittyAmbassador Kirk with GSK CEO Andrew Witty

    On Thursday, Ambassador Kirk met with GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) Chief Executive Officer Andrew Witty. They discussed GSK's efforts to support innovation while also promoting research on neglected tropical diseases and access to medicines in developing countries.

  • 09/16/2010 2:12 PM

    Ambassador Kirk joined fellow Cabinet members today as President Obama gathered his Export Council to discuss the National Export Initiative (NEI). The NEI, announced in the President’s State of the Union Address in January, seeks to double U.S. export sales within five years to support an additional two million American jobs. The Export Council is dedicated to building on the progress in promoting exports that has already been made. In advance of the President’s Export Council meeting, the White House released a report today on the NEI, laying out a plan for reaching the President’s goals.

    Our nation’s economic recovery and a return to long-term economic growth depend in part on U.S. businesses, especially small businesses, selling their goods and services to the 95 percent of the world’s customers that live beyond our borders. The NEI marks the first time that the United States has a government-wide export promotion strategy with attention focused from the President and his Cabinet. Less than a year after the announcement of the initiative, the Administration is making important progress promoting and supporting U.S. export sales and jobs.

    At USTR, Ambassador Kirk has traveled the country listening to businesses and workers to hear their concerns and priorities for better market access overseas. He has renewed efforts to encourage businesses to export, pushed for foreign countries to open markets to American products and services, and enforced existing trade agreements in order to help achieve the President’s ambitious goal.

  • 09/16/2010 11:53 AM

    Ambassador Kirk announced on Wednesday that the United States has filed two cases against China at the World Trade Organization (WTO). One case requests dispute settlement consultations – the first step in litigation – regarding China’s imposition of antidumping (AD) duties and countervailing duties (CVD) on imports of grain oriented flat-rolled electrical steel (GOES) from the United States. The other case requests consultations regarding China’s discrimination against U.S. suppliers of electronic payment services.

    See what people are saying about the cases below.

    AK Steel

    House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Sander M. Levin (D-MI)

    Senate Finance Committee Ranking Member Senator Chuck Grassley (D-IA)

  • 09/16/2010 9:24 AM

    Ambassador Kirk is joining fellow cabinet members this morning as the President gathers his Export Council for an update on the National Export Initiative. Watch the meeting live below.

    NOTE: This event has ended.
  • 09/15/2010 5:50 PM

    Today, Ambassador Sapiro met with a leadership delegation from the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce. Ambassador Sapiro spoke with the group about market access, the Panama and Colombia trade agreements, and the role of USTR under President Obama’s National Export Initiative. She discussed how the initiative can benefit Florida exporters and create jobs for workers in the state.

    Ambassador Sapiro and the Greater Miami Chamber of CommerceAmbassador Sapiro meets with the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce

  • 09/15/2010 4:14 PM

    On Tuesday, Ambassador Kirk met with Kazakhstani First Deputy Prime Minister, Umirzak Shukeyev, and Minister of Economic Development and Trade, Zhanar Aitzhanova to discuss the status of bilateral market access negotiations and other issues related to Kazakhstan’s efforts to accede to the World Trade Organization (WTO). Ambassador Kirk’s meeting capped an intense round of negotiations with Kazakhstan on key issues for the U.S. such as intellectual property, agricultural trade, and services.

    Ambassador Kirk and Kazakhstani First Deputy Prime Minister Umirzak Shukeyev Ambassador Kirk and Kazakhstani First Deputy Prime Minister Umirzak Shukeyev

    In addition to market access negotiations, Kazakhstan is working with the United States and other WTO Members to implement multilateral rules in areas such as sanitary and phyto-sanitary measures, customs valuation, government procurement, and state-owned enterprises. USTR has pressed for improved access to this growing economy for U.S. exporters of goods and services, and has engaged with Kazakhstan to protect U.S. firms’ access to the large market represented by the new Customs Union between Kazakhstan and Russia and Belarus. In all World Trade Organization (WTO) accession talks, USTR leverages the negotiations to create export opportunities for American firms and workers here in the U.S. and ensure that new WTO Members fully implement WTO rules regarding open market access.

  • 09/14/2010 5:43 PM

    On Monday, Ambassador Kirk addressed members and answered questions from the National Farmers Union (NFU) as part of the White House’s initiative to engage rural stakeholders. The NFU represents farmers and ranchers from all 50 states. The NFU’s participants come from diverse backgrounds in production agriculture, with members that produce both conventional and organic commodities.

    Ambassador Kirk spoke about the importance of trade and how USTR is working to increase agricultural exports and support American farmers and ranchers. Agricultural exports account for almost 10 percent of all U.S. goods exported worldwide.

    Ambassador Kirk addresses the National Farmers Union
    Ambassador Kirk addresses the National Farmers Union

  • 09/14/2010 1:01 PM

    As Ambassador Kirk continues to travel the country this fall discussing the benefits of trade, he’s highlighting President Obama’s plan to double exports within the next five years. This week's trade spotlight will focus on that National Export Initiative.

    President Obama unveiled his National Export Initiative (NEI) earlier this year during the annual State of the Union address. It’s part of his comprehensive plan to rebuild and restore the American economy.

    The NEI seeks to double exports from the United States over the next five years. Those exports could support up to two million new jobs, because selling abroad leads to growing businesses and economic growth here at home. Exports are key to America’s economic recovery.

    Already, the United States is seeing progress. According to the Department of Commerce, this month’s economic numbers show that U.S. exports through the first seven months of 2010 are up by 17.9 percent, more than $1 billion, from 2009.

    This initiative represents the Administration’s commitment to facilitating trade and increasing U.S. competitiveness in the global market. New trade deals, like the U. S.–Korea trade agreement and the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), will open new markets for U.S. businesses and goods.

    For the last nine months, Ambassador Kirk has been traveling the country in support of the NEI, meeting with business executives, ranchers, entrepreneurs, and American workers along the way. Ambassador Kirk is hoping to encourage open discussion about expanding exports and growing America’s businesses.

    American workers, farmers, and small business owners are a priority of this Administration. USTR is and will continue to work to expand America’s economic recovery.

  • 09/14/2010 9:44 AM

    On Monday, Ambassador Kirk met with David Lane, Chief Executive Officer of the ONE Campaign. The two discussed a wide range of issues including the Obama Administration’s efforts in trade and investment in Africa and how the ONE Campaign is partnering with the federal government to continue improving the education system.

    Ambassador Kirk and ONE CEO David LaneAmbassador Kirk and ONE CEO David Lane

    Visit USTR’s Africa page to learn more about trade with Africa.

  • 09/10/2010 1:17 PM

    The entertainment industry is a major player in California’s economy. In 2005, the motion picture and television industry alone employed more than 250,000 Californians. Protecting intellectual property rights is key in saving those jobs and ensuring prosperity in California. It’s also a priority for USTR.

    Ambassador Kirk toured the Paramount Studios lot yesterday, meeting with Paramount executive Frederick Huntsberry to discuss current trade issues affecting the entertainment industry.

    The entertainment industry is strongly supportive of the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA), a pending agreement that will protect California’s intellectual property from things like internet piracy and camcorder piracy. It’s not just the entertainment industry that suffers. Piracy has a ripple effect throughout the economy, bleeding over into other industries as well, affecting things like technology, sales and jobs.

    That discussion was the foundation of Ambassador Kirk’s visit to Paramount. Also on the agenda was the U.S.-Korea Trade Agreement. One benefit of completing this agreement would be its potential to increase exports nationally by $10-11 billion annually. The Korea agreement also contains IPR provisions to protect the entertainment industry’s creations and services commitments that provide greater access to both the infrastructure (cable TV) and programming segments (content) of Korea’s media markets.

    USTR is working to support California’s economy and to create new jobs in California.

  • 09/09/2010 5:06 PM

    Today, Ambassador Kirk is continuing his visit in California. He was up bright and early this morning for two roundtable discussions.

    At the breakfast roundtable, Ambassador Kirk joined Representative Diane Watson and local business leaders who are directly affected by trade. The attendees included representatives from the Korean-American Chamber of Los Angeles, the Port of Los Angeles and Port of Long Beach, National Resources Defense Council, and a representative from the office of California Assembly Speaker Emeritus Karen Bass.

    Ambassador Kirk followed up one roundtable with another – this time, with Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and Korean-American business leaders at City Hall.

    At both events, the Ambassador answered questions about the U.S.–Korea trade agreement, the President's National Export Initiativeand the positive effects of exports for California’s economy.

    California is the second largest exporter of goods in the United States. Hundreds of thousands of Californians have jobs supported by exports. Those jobs often pay 13-18 percent more than the average national wage, which means new trade agreements are a golden opportunity for the Golden State.

    Take, for example, the U.S.-Korea trade agreement. California is one of the leading states in both manufacturing and agricultural exports, and Korea is already California’s 5th-largest export market. The elimination of Korea’s tariffs alone will add an estimated $10-12 billion to the U.S. GDP and add $10-11 billion in U.S. exports to Korea. California’s entertainment industry will also benefit from stronger intellectual property rights protection under the trade agreement. The state's dockworkers and transportation and distribution workers will benefit from increased flows of trade in both directions. In other words, this agreement will have a direct positive impact on local businesses and workers in California. More money and more exports mean more jobs.

    California is a state that thrives on trade. USTR is working to support the Golden State's economy and create well-paying jobs at home.

  • 09/08/2010 5:52 PM

    According to the Global Intellectual Property Center, about $5.5 trillion worth of trademarks, copyrights, and patents form the building blocks of our economy. The businesses that own those trademarks employ about 18 million Americans. U.S. free trade efforts are vital for maintaining an environment that safeguards those American jobs and supports the U.S. economy. Ambassador Kirk works to build upon and expand existing markets, supporting job growth in high-tech fields in California and across the United States.

    Today, Ambassador Kirk joined David Drummond, Senior Vice President and Chief Legal Officer of Google, for a tour of Google’s facilities in Mountain View, California. After touring the campus, he hosted a technology panel discussion with Silicon Valley executives to discuss a variety of critical issues for the technology industry. Panelists included executives from Google, Gilead Sciences, Microsoft, BayBio, OnLive, and Facebook.

    Web live by Google, this morning’s panel discussion focused on innovation and trade policies. The Ambassador emphasized the importance of exports in growing the U.S. economy and creating American jobs. During the discussion, he reaffirmed the Administration’s firm commitment to the enforcement of global trade agreements and the development of new trade opportunities. Also discussed were the Trans-Pacific Partnership, U.S. market initiatives in China, and intellectual property concerns.

    Ambassador Kirk at Google Panel DiscussionAmbassador Kirk leads a trade and technology discussion at Google

  • 09/08/2010 2:00 PM
    Ambassador Kirk is at Google headquarters in Mountain View, California hosting a panel with technology excutives from Google, Facebook, OnLive, Microsoft and BayBio to discuss the Role of trade policy in growing exports, creating jobs, and solving global challenges. You can watch it LIVE here.
  • 09/08/2010 9:14 AM

    This week, Ambassador Kirk is traveling in California, meeting with local business and government leaders in San Francisco and Los Angeles. This week's trade spotlight will focus on trade in Southern California.   

    Just last year, California brought in more than $120 billion due to exporting. That number alone shows just how important the trade industry is to California. In fact, it’s the second leading exporting state in the nation. As of 2007, more than 55,000 companies exported goods from California locations.   

    One of these businesses is K&N Engineering. Starting out as a family business, the company has been exporting for more than 30 years and now employs about 450 people. Businesses like K&N, based out of Riverside, will benefit from increased trade. Faber Enterprises in Canoga Park will also benefit. The manufacturing company has 100 employees, and is looking to expand.   

    The Port of Long Beach employs 30,000 people alone, and each one of these individuals benefits from the flow of American goods to and from markets worldwide. 

    One of California’s leading export markets is Korea, which was ranked fifth among the state’s top export markets in 2009. That year alone, exports to Korea were nearly $6 billion. Resolution of outstanding issues with the pending U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement would open significant additional export opportunities for California businesses and workers, and for companies across America.  

    But trade policy efforts with positive potential for California doesn’t stop there. Right now, USTR is negotiating an agreement that will help protect the intellectual property of one of California’s most important industries—entertainment. ACTA, the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, will do just that. It’s designed to fight counterfeiting and piracy– things that don’t just hurt California’s economy, but the world economy. A letter to President Obama from the Entertainment Industry Guild Union applauding USTR’S efforts to complete ACTA, saying “Our members are also the American workers who are the first and most immediate “victims” of rampant copyright theft over the Internet—a threat which erodes their ability to earn a living, feed their families and the vitality of their pension and health plans.” 

    According to the Global Intellectual Property Center, about $5.5 trillion worth of trademarks, copyrights and patents are building blocks of our economy. The businesses that own those trademarks employ about 18 million Americans. It’s in the best interest of the United States to create an environment in which those businesses can safeguard American jobs, support American families and continue to support the American economy. With all of our trade policy efforts, USTR is working to do that in California and all across the United States.