09/30/2011 3:15 PM
Today, Ambassador Kirk wrote a guest blog post on WhiteHouse.gov about his travels to Philadelphia. Read the blog post below.
The American Jobs Act Will Put Pennsylvanians Back to Work
Posted by Ambassador Ron Kirk on September 30, 2011 at 02:33 PM EDT
Today, I had the opportunity to travel to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to meet with local business leaders and workers to discuss how President Obama’s new jobs proposal – the American Jobs Act – will put more Pennsylvanians back to work now. During my trip, I joined Mayor Michael Nutter for a visit to Superfit, Inc., a jewelry manufacturer in downtown Philadelphia. I then hosted a meeting of the White House Business Council in the Mayor’s office in City Hall.
Superfit, Inc., which is owned and operated by Gena Alulis, manufactures and distributes custom rings to the worldwide jewelry market. Founded in 1992, the firm's unique product features a hinged design that allows the ring to open and close easily, safely, and securely. Ms. Alulis led me on a tour of Superfit’s factory and I saw firsthand the production of this great American product. I learned during the tour that Superfit recently relocated its headquarters to downtown Philadelphia, where the company was able to expand production and hire additional employees. The American Jobs Act will provide a small business tax cut to Ms. Alulis, which will allow her to bring on even more workers. I also learned that Superfit currently exports to several countries, including the United Kingdom and Canada. At USTR we are working to open markets around the world through the President's National Export Initiative so businesses like Superfit can increase exports.
After my visit to Superfit, local government and business leaders joined me for a White House Business Council meeting at Philadelphia’s historic City Hall. During the meeting, I had a very productive dialogue with about two dozen local business and community leaders. I discussed how the American Jobs Act will put workers in the Keystone State back to work, and help hard-working families in these difficult economic times. I spoke with them about all the ways the American Jobs Act, if passed by Congress, will benefit their businesses, workers, and families.
For example, the American Jobs Act will cut taxes to help an estimated 230,000 Pennsylvania businesses – like Superfit – hire and grow. It will provide hard-working Pennsylvania families with a payroll tax cut that will save them an average of $1,500 a year. The American Jobs Act will invest at least $1.3 billion to help put thousands of Philadelphia-area construction workers back to work repairing crumbling roads, bridges, and schools.
Additionally, the American Jobs Act will send $1.1 billion to Pennsylvania state and local governments to prevent layoffs and support up to 14,400 teachers, police, firefighters, and first responders – which, as Mayor Nutter will tell you, will provide a much-needed boost for Philadelphia right now. It also extends unemployment benefits to help Pennsylvanians looking for work continue to support their families. And the American Jobs Act is fully paid for. It won’t add a dime to the federal deficit.
As the President says frequently, “the purpose of the American Jobs Act is simple: to put more people back to work and more money in the pockets of those who are working.” That’s exactly what it will do for workers in the City of Brotherly Love.
See how other American mayors say the American Jobs Act will impact their cities
Ambassador Ron Kirk is the United States Trade Representative
09/29/2011 1:20 PM
This week, the United States Senate took a major step forward in expanding trade and investment relations between the United States and Rwanda by unanimously approving the United States-Rwanda Bilateral Investment Treaty (BIT).
The treaty will provide investors with legal protections that underscore the shared commitment of the United States and Rwanda to open investment and trade policies. It will also help further economic growth in Rwanda by reinforcing that government's economic reform program, which has rebuilt the Rwandan economy since the 1994 genocide. U.S.-led investment in Rwanda is poised to increase in the coming year, helping to grow both the American and Rwandan economies.
“This treaty will protect the rights of U.S. investors in Rwanda. The treaty will strengthen our two countries’ economic ties and enhance the confidence of U.S. investors in Rwanda, helping to promote the new investment that is critical to Rwanda’s economic development,” said Ambassador Ron Kirk. “Rwanda is recognized for its strong record of business climate reform and is capturing the attention of a growing number of U.S. companies. The Rwanda BIT will reinforce the Rwandan government’s efforts to further reform its economy and promote a strong, transparent business climate.”
This is the first BIT that the United States has concluded with an African country in nearly a decade. It can serve as a model for future agreements with other African countries, including Mauritius, where a BIT is under negotiation; Ghana, where a BIT has been proposed; and with the East African Community, where a regional investment agreement has been proposed. The United States currently has five BITs in force in sub-Saharan Africa, with Cameroon, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Mozambique, the Republic of Congo, and Senegal.
USTR and the Department of State co-led the negotiation of this treaty.
09/22/2011 7:15 PM
United States Trade Representative Ron Kirk and Indian Minister of Commerce, Industry and Textiles Anand Sharma met today in Washington, D.C. to discuss ways to strengthen the growing bilateral trade and investment relationship, including through more active engagement under the U.S.-India Trade Policy Forum (TPF). The TPF is the primary bilateral mechanism for addressing trade and investment issues. Ambassador Kirk and Minister Sharma agreed that the TPF played a critical role in promoting trade and investment flows between the two countries to higher levels that better reflected the importance of the bilateral economic partnership. They reaffirmed their commitment to helping ensure that the TPF produce concrete outcomes that would be meaningful to workers in both countries. As part of this commitment, Ambassador Kirk and Minister Sharma discussed steps that both governments would take in the coming months, lay the groundwork for a successful next meeting of the TPF in early 2012.
Ambassador Kirk and Minister Sharma also welcomed upcoming technical discussions on the BIT. They expressed support for holding an additional round of discussions before the next TPF meeting and working constructively to move those discussions forward in a timely manner. Minister Sharma also expressed appreciation for the progress made by the Senate on GSP legislation and looked forward to final Congressional reauthorization of GSP.
The total value of trade in goods between our two countries has increased over threefold since 2001, with over half of that coming in the last five years. Both countries also continue to significantly expand investment ties, with investment doubling in each direction since 2007.
Ambassador Kirk Discusses Agricultural Issues with EU Commissioner for Health and Consumer Policy John Dalli09/22/2011 6:05 PM
Yesterday, Ambassador Kirk met with European Union (EU) Commissioner for Health and Consumer Policy John Dalli. During the meeting, they discussed a range of issues that affect food and agricultural product trade between the United States and the EU, including several sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) issues.
The United States’ economic relationship with the EU is the largest and most complex in the world, generating trade flows of about $3.6 billion a day  and transatlantic investment is directly responsible for roughly 7.1 million jobs [2008 estimate]. This enormous volume of transatlantic trade and investment promotes economic prosperity on both sides of the Atlantic and in the dozens of other countries that trade with the transatlantic partners.
U.S. goods and services trade with the EU totaled almost $800 billion in 2009. The EU countries, together, would rank second as an export market for the United States in 2010. The five largest country markets were United Kingdom, Germany, Netherlands, France, and Belgium. The top export categories in 2010 were machinery, aircraft, optic and medical instruments, pharmaceutical products, and electrical machinery.
U.S. exports of agricultural products to EU countries totaled $8.9 billion in 2010. The EU countries together would rank fifth as an agricultural export market for the United States that year, and leading categories included tree nuts, soybeans, processed fruit and vegetables, tobacco, and wine and beer.
09/21/2011 2:26 PM
On Tuesday, Ambassador Miriam Sapiro hosted a presentation and discussion of new projects currently under development by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) Trade Committee concerning services trade, and raw materials policies and markets. Ken Ash, Director of the OECD Directorate of Trade and Agriculture, provided information to Washington-based Embassy representatives on the OECD Trade Committee’s efforts to create a Services Trade Restrictiveness Index as well as to enhance transparency in raw materials policies and markets. Participants engaged in a cross-cutting discussion of issues related to these topics.
Ambassador Sapiro Holds OECD Presentation Event
Thirty-four democracies in Europe, North and South America, and the Pacific Rim comprise the OECD, established in 1961 and headquartered in Paris. The OECD member countries account for 69 percent of world gross national income (GNI), 60 percent of world trade, 95 percent of world official development assistance, over half of the world's energy consumption, and 18 percent of the world's population.
The OECD is not just a grouping of economically significant nations, but also a policy forum covering a broad spectrum of economic, social, and scientific areas, from macroeconomic analysis to education to biotechnology. The OECD helps countries, both OECD members and non-members, reap the benefits and confront the challenges of a global economy by promoting economic growth, free markets, and efficient use of resources.
09/20/2011 4:57 PM
As Senate debate continues on a bill to renew the expired Generalized System of Preferences, please find here useful links to key information:
GSP “By the Numbers”
Among the amendments being considered by the Senate is a robust renewal of Trade Adjustment Assistance reforms. Please see information about the bipartisan 2011 TAA agreement. Here are links to additional key TAA info:
TAA Overview (whitehouse.gov)
09/20/2011 3:36 PM
Ambassador Kirk met today with New Zealand Minister of Trade Tim Groser. The two reviewed progress made during the eighth round of Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) talks held last week in Chicago and discussed critical issues of mutual importance in the negotiations. Both Ministers expressed their shared commitment to continue working closely together to successfully reach the broad outlines of an ambitious, 21st-century agreement by the APEC Leaders' meeting in November.
Ambassador Kirk and New Zealand Minister of Trade Tim Groser
Additionally, Ambassador Kirk and Minister Groser discussed the ongoing and close relationship between the United States and New Zealand in APEC and their shared goals for the APEC 2011 initiatives as well as the upcoming WTO Ministerial meeting in December.
U.S. goods and services trade with New Zealand totaled $8 billion in 2009. The top U.S. export categories in 2010 were aircraft, machinery, special other, optic and medical instruments, and vehicles. Top U.S. exports of agricultural products to New Zealand included fresh fruit, live animals, and dairy products.
09/20/2011 1:23 PM
President Obama has made openness a high priority in his Administration, committing his Administration to an “unprecedented level of openness in Government” on his first full day in office.
Since then, the Administration has:
- Disclosed more information requested under the Freedom of Information Act,
- Made voluminous information available on government websites; and
- Used technology in innovative ways that harness government information to improve the lives of ordinary citizens.
As President Obama today signs the Open Government Partnership declaration, USTR is proud to highlight some of the ways that we have advanced America’s domestic open government agenda and created a more efficient and effective government through greater transparency, participation, and collaboration.
The Administration has deliberately considered the next direction for American trade policy, with the belief that this key component of economic recovery should and could be more responsive to Americans’ concerns. USTR is confident that a trade policy focused on American employment and economic growth, incorporating labor and environmental concerns, and developed with greater transparency and public engagement, can give the American people greater assurance that trade can both serve our interests and reflect our values.
To that end, as key trade policies have been formed the Administration has engaged in outreach of unprecedented scale and scope, including consultations with our partners in Congress, with our trade advisory committees, including workers and businesses, as well as with other interested parties nationwide. Efforts to address concerns with pending trade agreements with Colombia, Panama and South Korea have benefited enormously from expanded outreach, as did finalizing the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement and the Special 301 process to identify barriers to American intellectual property exports.
The President’s Advisory Committee on Trade Policy and Negotiations (ACTPN) was fully reconstituted in 2010 to include more representatives from non-governmental organizations, state and local government, public health, consumer interest, labor and environmental groups, while maintaining robust membership from the U.S. business community. These new ACTPN members join congressional leaders and other American stakeholders in shaping trade policy that continues to work better for all Americans.
Outreach efforts have reached groundbreaking levels in USTR’s work to advance the Trans-Pacific Partnership – our flagship initiative under the Open Government Initiative. Since before the announcement in December 2009 of the United States’ intent to joinTPP talks, members of Congress and stakeholders have been included at every stage. Their input has been solicited and incorporated across the TPP effort, from the formulation of U.S. negotiating positions to outreach around the country and a precedent-setting presence of stakeholders on-site at negotiations, beginning with the first U.S.-hosted round of TPP talks in San Francisco, CA in June 2010.
The use of technology has underpinned all of USTR’s efforts to expand the trade conversation among the American people. USTR’s website is a communication tool to share information about USTR accomplishments and as an outreach tool to serve the needs of the public (industry, small business, consumer groups, etc). After a complete overhaul in 2009, www.ustr.gov was improved with a second redesign and update to better illustrate the impact of trade on communities around the country. The new design made more information more quickly accessible on the front page of the website and improved navigability for visitors interested in trade issues. A new, comprehensive website, www.export.gov, has also been launched to centralize for the public all information and resources regarding the National Export Initiative. USTR also communicates with the public through its weekly newsletter, launched in 2009, and in real-time through social network sites, including on-the-ground updates from several trade negotiation rounds.
An open and good government is much more than releasing information. It is about harnessing the skills and talents of the American people, establishing greater collaboration among Federal agencies, and ensuring that the taxpayer’s money is wisely spent.
To that end, this month USTR has recommitted itself to the principles that the President announced on his first day in office and that have been exemplified in our work since then. At the September 2011 round of Trans-Pacific Partnership talks in Chicago, IL, which ended last Thursday, September 15, more than 250 stakeholders accepted USTR’s invitation to be on-site at the TPP talks in Chicago to interact with negotiators and delegates. Additionally, USTR supported fifty-seven stakeholder group presentations directly to delegates from the nine TPP partner countries and to other stakeholders attending the forum. With USTR’s encouragement, many TPP negotiators including chief negotiators from the nine TPP partner countries listened to presentations by stakeholders representing a wide range of views on issues relevant to the negotiations. In turn, chief negotiators from the nine TPP partner countries offered a mid-round briefing to stakeholders and stakeholder groups, and held a press briefing to share with the public the progress made at the round.
USTR will continue this transparency effort with its flagship Open Government initiative – the TPP. And across the President’s trade agenda, USTR will continue to respond to Americans’ concerns and to include Americans’ ideas in our work to open world markets to U.S. exports and enforce America’s rights around the world.
Ambassador Kirk Participates in the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute’s (CHCI) Public Policy Conference09/16/2011 5:25 PM
Ambassador Kirk participated in the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute’s (CHCI) Public Policy Conference luncheon panel to discuss “Keeping the Promise: Building a Stronger International Community.” The event focused on the important trade relationship between the United States and countries in the Western Hemisphere.
Ambassador Kirk spoke about President Obama’s American Jobs Act, the National Export Initiative, and pending trade agreements with Colombia and Panama. Ambassador Kirk also highlighted the fact that exports are helping to drive economic growth and support job creation in the United States and in the hemisphere.
Just last year, U.S. goods exports to the Western Hemisphere rose by more than 24 percent to $547 billion, which outpaced growth to the world as a whole, with three of United States’ top ten export markets are located in the Hemisphere. The region accounts for over one-third of total U.S. trade with the world, and 10 of our 17 free trade partners are in the western hemisphere, including Mexico, all of Central America, the Dominican Republic, Chile, and Peru.
U.S. goods and services trade with the Western Hemisphere totaled $1.2 trillion in 2009, with exports totaling $571 billion. The largest export markets are Canada, Mexico, Brazil, Colombia, and Chile. The top export categories in 2009 were: Machinery, Electrical Machinery, Vehicles, Mineral Fuel and Oil, and Plastic.
U.S. exports of agricultural products to the Western Hemisphere countries totaled $41.8 billion in 2010. Leading categories included coarse grains, red meats, fresh/chilled/frozen, snack foods (excluding nuts), fresh fruit, wheat, soybeans, fresh vegetables, and processed fruit and vegetables.
09/15/2011 4:35 PM
Today at the eighth round of Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations in Chicago, IL, two remaining negotiating groups held talks on non-conforming measures and trade remedies.
The round concludes today after 10 days of intensive and fruitful talks. This has been a productive round with progress made toward the goal of concluding an ambitious, 21st-century agreement that will enhance trade and investment among the TPP partner countries and support economic growth and development and support the creation and retention of jobs.
Negotiators sought to make progress on the legal texts of the more than 20 chapters of the agreement this week. With additional text put forward this round, there are now consolidated texts in most areas. Many chapters, including Customs, Technical Barriers to Trade, Telecommunications, Government Procurement, and the horizontal or 21st-century issues of small- and medium-sized enterprises, regulatory coherence, competitiveness, and development, are moving toward closure. Progress was also made on texts for somewhat longer and more complex chapters such as Intellectual Property and Investment.
Negotiators also sought to make progress on the packages for access to industrial, agricultural, and textile and apparel products as well as to government procurement markets. These detailed negotiations require agreement by each country on trade on some 11,000 tariff lines, as well as the rules of origin associated with them; trade and investment in all service sectors, from telecommunications and financial services to energy, professional and distribution services; and reciprocal access to each others’ government procurement markets. Progress was made, but the TPP teams are still looking for improvements in the packages to achieve the high level of ambition envisioned.
In some areas, further text will be tabled in the coming weeks, including text the United States is preparing on labor and state-owned enterprises. In the meantime, the labor and competition groups’ robust discussions in Chicago will ease the path forward when text is tabled.
More than 250 stakeholders accepted the U.S. Government’s invitation to be on-site at the talks this week. U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel addressed stakeholders on Friday evening; on Saturday, 57 stakeholder groups made presentations to TPP negotiators.
Negotiators have been directed to reach the broad outlines of an agreement by the APEC leaders’ meeting in Honolulu. The United States’ team is eager to synthesize the good work done to date and to shape it into a strong submission to the APEC Leaders in November
09/14/2011 5:37 PM
Today at the eighth round of Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations in Chicago, IL, a number of negotiating groups held talks on issues including horizontal issues, competition, non-conforming measures, and trade remedies.
The Chicago round of TPP talks is expected to conclude tomorrow, when chief negotiators expect to receive reports from the remaining negotiating groups.
09/13/2011 6:00 PM
This week, USTR will hold the fifth meeting of the United States-Pakistan Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA) Council. This week's trade spotlight highlights the importance of the TIFA.
In June 2004, the United States and the five Central Asian countries of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan signed the United States-Central Asia Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA). The TIFA has provided an important mechanism for the five countries to get together and discuss ways to improve trade and investment between Central Asia and the United States, with Afghanistan as an observer. This year marks the 20-year anniversary of independence for the five Central Asian countries and the seven years since the signing of the TIFA.
Reducing barriers to trade and investment in Central Asia help U.S. exporters, farmers, ranchers and workers and also help Central Asian consumers gain access to desired goods from the United States. During the first seven months of 2011, U.S. goods exports to Central Asia are 28.9 percent higher than during the same time period in 2010.
USTR is working with the five Central Asian countries and Afghanistan to identify and reduce trade and investment barriers that exist in each of the countries and provide incentives for addressing those barriers. As part of the sixth TIFA Council meeting in Washington, D.C. this week, USTR hosted a meeting with the American private sector and Central Asian and Afghanistan government representatives to exchange views how to improve the conditions for trade and investment in all of the countries. The TIFA Parties hope to include a private sector portion to all future TIFA-related meetings both in the United States and in the Central Asian region.
The United States will continue to work through the TIFA to encourage greater collaboration and coordination on trade and investment issues in Central Asia and Afghanistan. It is clear that the region would greatly benefit economically from such action and an improved economic situation could lay the groundwork for greater stability in the region.
09/13/2011 5:37 PMToday at the eighth round of Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations in Chicago, IL, a number of negotiating groups held talks on issues including horizontal issues, labor, rules of origin, competition, non-conforming measures, intellectual property rights, and capacity building. The Chicago round of TPP talks is expected to conclude on September 15.
09/12/2011 7:09 PM
Today at the eighth round of Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations in Chicago, IL, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative issued a white paper outlining a new USTR strategic initiative entitled “Trade Enhancing Access to Medicines (TEAM).” TEAM is designed to deploy the tools of trade policy to promote trade and reduce obstacles to access to both innovative and generic medicines, while supporting the innovation that is vital to developing new medicines and achieving other medical breakthroughs. The paper can be found here. Comments from USAID can be found here.
A number of negotiating groups held talks today on issues including horizontal issues, labor, rules of origin, competition, non-conforming measures, intellectual property rights, and capacity building. The Chicago round of TPP talks is expected to conclude on September 15.
09/12/2011 5:20 PM
WhiteHouse.gov: Open for Question with News One, Hello Beautiful, Black Planet, The Urban Daily & Grio09/12/2011 2:50 PM
This afternoon, Ambassador Kirk will join fellow Administration officials to participate in a special "Open for Questions" event at WhiteHouse.gov. Read more about the event below.
Open for Question with News One, Hello Beautiful, Black Planet, The Urban Daily & Grio
Posted by on September 10, 2011 at 12:28 PM EDT
On Monday, September 12th, the White House will host a special “Open for Questions” event with Interactive One, that includes News One, Hello Beautiful, Black Planet, The Urban Daily and Grio.
Last week, President Obama unveiled the American Jobs Act before a Joint Session of Congress. To create more jobs now, the President is sending Congress a plan that puts more people back to work and puts more money in the pockets of working Americans. On Monday, September 12th, at 4:00 p.m. EDT Obama Administration officials will answer questions submitted through Interactive One websites during a live event that you won’t want to miss.
Participating Obama Administration include:
Melody Barnes, Director of the Domestic Policy Council
Shaun Donovan, US Secretary for Housing and Urban Development
Valerie Jarrett, Senior Advisor to President Obama
Marie Johns, Deputy Administrator of the US Small Business
Ambassador Ron Kirk, US Trade Representative
Gene Sperling, Director of the National Economic Council
Right now, you can submit questions through Interactive One’s site:
On Monday, September 12th at 4:00 p.m. EDT, we hope you’ll watch and engage live:
09/12/2011 2:42 PMToday Ambassadors Punke and Siddiqui are testifying before the Senate Finance Committee regarding their confirmation. You can watch the hearing live on the Committee’s website here starting at 4:00 p.m. EST.
09/12/2011 1:23 PM
Today at Round 8 of the Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations in Chicago, IL, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative issued a white paper outlining a new USTR strategic initiative entitled “Trade Enhancing Access to Medicines (TEAM).” TEAM is designed to deploy the tools of trade policy to promote trade and reduce obstacles to access to both innovative and generic medicines, while supporting the innovation that is vital to developing new medicines and achieving other medical breakthroughs.
The white paper describes how, under the TEAM approach, the United States proposes to work with partners Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Chile, Malaysia, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, and Vietnam to achieve the following goals in a TPP agreement:
Expedite access to innovative and generic medicines through a “TPP access window”
Enhance legal certainty for manufacturers of generic medicines
Eliminate tariffs on medicines
Reduce customs obstacles to medicines
Curb trade in counterfeit medicines
Reduce internal barriers to distribution of medicines
Promote transparency and procedural fairness
Minimize unnecessary regulatory barriers
Reaffirm TPP Parties’ commitment to the Doha Declaration on TRIPS and Public Health
“The truth is, trade policy by itself can’t address all the challenges of access to medicines, but we believe trade policy can be a meaningful component of the Obama Administration’s broad effort to promote that access,” said U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk. “These Trans-Pacific Partnership proposals will help to drive access to innovative and generic medicines, through tariff cuts, intellectual property provisions, and a host of other measures that will help to boost the availability of life-saving innovative and generic medicines to people throughout the Asia-Pacific region.”
Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations are expected to continue in Chicago through September 15.
09/11/2011 2:44 PM
Today at the eighth round of Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations in Chicago, IL, chief negotiators from the nine TPP partner countries – Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Chile, Malaysia, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, Vietnam, and the United States – offered a mid-round briefing to many of the 250-plus stakeholders who have accepted USTR’s invitation to be on-site in Chicago for the talks, including many of the 57 stakeholder groups who made presentations directly to TPP negotiators and delegates at a USTR-sponsored stakeholder event on Saturday. Today, chief U.S. negotiator Barbara Weisel said that partners have continued to make progress on legal texts of the agreements as they seek to reach agreement on specific provisions, and have advanced market access discussions in a number of sectors. Weisel noted that “hard work” remains to be done as the effort continues to reach the broad outlines of an agreement in the coming months.
TPP Chief Negotiators brief stakeholders in Chicago, IL
A number of negotiating groups are holding talks today on issues including goods market access, temporary entry, intellectual property rights, legal issues, technical barriers to trade, and capacity building. Negotiating groups that have already met and concluded their work for this week include financial services, investment, customs, telecommunications, textiles, government procurement, sanitary and phytosanitary measures, and environment. Additional groups will begin or continue meetings before the Chicago round of talks concludes on September 15.
Early this morning, a number of U.S. trade officials and staff, along with members of delegations from trading partner countries, gathered to mark the 10th anniversary of the September 11 attacks. While viewing official ceremonies together, U.S. officials and their foreign counterparts observed moments of silence along with millions of Americans and others around the globe.
09/10/2011 5:08 PM
Today at the eighth round of Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations in Chicago, IL, nearly 60 stakeholder groups are making individual presentations directly to delegates from the nine TPP countries and to other stakeholders attending the forum. Many TPP negotiators, including chief negotiators from the nine partner countries, have spent much of today listening to presentations by stakeholders representing a wide range of views on issues relevant to the negotiations. Stakeholders are scheduled to speak in sessions between 10:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. at the Hilton Chicago in three presentation rooms to ensure each stakeholder has sufficient time to present their views. More than 250 stakeholders have accepted USTR’s invitation to be on-site at the TPP talks in Chicago to interact with negotiators and delegates. A full list of the stakeholder presentation schedule, with names of presenters and their organizations, can be found below.
As stakeholder presentations took place, a smaller number of negotiating groups held talks today. Issues discussed included goods market access, temporary entry, rules of origin, technical barriers to trade, and capacity building. Negotiators from the nine TPP partner countries – Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Chile, Malaysia, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, Vietnam, and the United States – are reporting good progress early in the eighth round of talks, which will last through September 15. Negotiating groups that have already begun meetings this week include services, financial services, investment, customs, telecommunications, intellectual property rights (IPR), government procurement, sanitary and phytosanitary measures, and environment.
In 2009, the East-West Center estimated that Asia already accounted for 27 percent of total U.S. jobs from exports. International Monetary Fund forecasts that the Asia-Pacific economies will grow faster than the world average through at least 2014. Expanding U.S. exports to the Asia-Pacific region can contribute significantly to further job growth and economic recovery for America’s working families.
Presenter and Organization
From Chicago to Honolulu and Beyond – A New Zealand Business Vision for TPP
Stephen Jacobi, Executive Director for NZ US Council
The Appropriate Role of IP Protection in Trade Agreements
Tom Giovanetti, President of Institute for Policy Innovation (IPI)
U.S. Generic Industry’s View on IP in Free Trade Agreements
Shawn Brown, Vice President of State Affairs, Generic Pharmaceutical Association
Pharmaceuticals: Innovation, Access and the TPPA Intellectual Property Chapter
Dr. Burcu Kilic, Consultant for the Global Access to Medicines Program at Public Citizen
IPR, Only Source Medicines and Access
Roberto Lopez, Executive Director of Acción Internacional para la Salud. Peru
Inconsistencies Between the US Intellectual Property Proposal for the TPPA and Current US Law
Krista Cox, Staff Attorney,
Knowledge Ecology International
Copyright, the U.S. Proposal for the TPPA and the Need for Evidence Based Review
Professor of Law, Duke University
Promoting the Internet Economy
The Public’s Stake in a Balanced IP Chapter in the TPP
Rashmi Rangnath, Staff Attorney
Fighting Movie Theft: An International Problem
Gary Kissinger, Regional Director of Investigations for Motion Pictures Association of America (MPAA)
Impacts of the TPP on Public Interest and Software Development
Free Software Foundation
Freedom of Expression, Innovation, and Internet Intermediary Liability
Abigail Phillips, Senior Staff Attorney, Electronic Frontier Foundation
“Temporary Entry” As A Critical Provision of the TPPA
Peter Ehrenhaft, Senior Counsel
Harkins Cunningham, LLP
A Proposal for Decent Work in the Trans-Pacific Region: Trade Unions' Model Labor Chapter
Jeffrey Vogt, Deputy Director and Legal Advisor, Department of Human and Trade Union Rights,
International Trade Union Confederation
The Case for a Human Rights Impact Assessment of the Proposed TPPA
Prof. Jane Kelsey
School of Law, University of Auckland
TPP: ICT and Internet Growth Via Trade in
Products with Cryptographic Capabilities
Ian Steff, Director of Government Affairs and International Trade, Semiconductor Industry Association
Towards Preserving an Open Internet Under the Trans-Pacific Partnership
Susan Chalmers, Policy Lead
The Trans-Pacific Partnership: Opportunity for Health-Sector Trade Policy
Ed Gresser, Alliance for Healthcare Competitiveness
The Promise of Biotechnology
Jeff Kushan, Sidley Austin for
Biotechnology Industry Organization
Trade, the Oceans and TPP: A 21st Century Plan for the Environment
Courtney Sakai, Senior Campaign Director for Oceania, and Peter Allgeier, President of C&M International
A Commercial Sector View on Fisheries in the TPP, with Particular Reference to the Environment Chapter
Alastair Macfarlane, General Manager – Trade and Information for NZ Seafood Industry Council
The Potential of Regulatory Coherence – A View from New Zealand Food and Agricultural Exporters
Ken Geard, Fonterra Cooperative Group Tracey Paterson, Beef and Lamb New Zealand
The Global Cosmetic and Personal Care Industry: An Important Sector for Growth
Francine Lamoriello, Executive Vice President for Global Strategies Personal Care Products Council
Proposals for Medical Devices
Ralph Ives, Executive Vice President for Global Strategy and Analysis, AdvaMed
Benefits of the IAF & ILAC Multilateral Mutual Recognition Arrangements
Randy Dougherty, Vice President of ANAB; Chair and President IAF
TPP Supply Chains – Seizing the Opportunity
Ralph Carter, Managing Director
Legal, Trade and International Affairs
Pharmaceutical Reimbursement Restrictions and Public Health: Analysis of U.S. and other TPP Country Practices
Sean Flynn, Program on Information Justice and Intellectual Property (PIJIP), American University; Sharon Treat, State Representative of Maine
Seeking Transparency and Enhanced Regulatory Coherence for Pharmaceuticals in the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement
Neil Pratt, Assistant General Counsel,
Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA)
Capital Controls and the Trans-Pacific Partnership
Sarah Andersen, Institute for Policy Studies, and Professor Martin Wolfson from University of Notre Dame
Strong, Enforceable Investment Provisions Are Critical for TPP's (and America's) Success in a Competitive Global Economy
Shaun Donnelly, VP for Investment and Financial Services, US Council for International Business
Investor-State Disputes: The Philip Morris Case in Australia
Dr. Patricia Ranald
Australian Fair Trade and Investment Network
TPP Goals, Principles, Priorities, and Challenges
TPP Business Coalition
FTA Investment Rules: The Case for Reform
Celeste Drake, AFL-CIO; and
Alejandra Alayza, Peruvian Network for Globalization with Equity
Investment and Financial Services: Lessons from Past FTAs and BITs
Lori Wallach, Director of Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch Division; and Todd Tucker, Research Director, Public Citizen's Global Trade Watch
How a High-Standard and Enforceable TPP Investment Chapter Can Promote Exports and Growth
Linda Menghetti, Vice President of Emergency Committee for American Trade (ECAT)
Addressing State-Owned Enterprises in the TPP Negotiations
Linda Andros, United Steelworkers
Addressing Export Restrictions and Investment and Competition Rules in the TPP Negotiations
Timothy Brightbill, On behalf of
Footwear: Enhancing Trade and Investment for TPP Members
Matt Priest, President of Footwear Distributors & Retailers of America
The Importance of Preserving A Small Amount of Footwear Manufacturing in the United States
Marc L. Fleischaker and Matt LeBretton
On behalf of the Rubber and Plastic Footwear Manufacturers Association
Travel Goods and Fashion Accessories – The Potential Impact of TPP on the Industry
Nate Herman, Vice President of International Trade American Apparel & Footwear Association (AAFA)
The Importance of the Yarn Forward Rule of Origin for Textiles and Apparel
Auggie Tantillo, Executive Director of
American Manufacturing Trade Action Coalition (AMTAC)
The U.S. Textile Industry Review of Textile Negotiating Rules and their Impact
Cass Johnson, President of the National Council of Textile Organizations
Yarn Forward and Its Impact on Textiles in the U.S.
With the Importance of Export Promotion of US Products in US FTAs…Why is the TPP an exception?
Jerry Cook, VP Government and Trade Relations, Hanesbrands, Inc.
The Benefits of Yarn Forward Rules to the Local Textile Industry
Unifi Manufacturting Inc
TPP Must Not Undermine AGOA
Paul Ryberg , On behalf of the African Cotton and Textile Industries Federation
Field to Fashion: Vertical Integration in the Western Hemisphere
Carlo Arias, President of American Denimatrix
The Potential Impact of TPP Negotiations on the Legwear Industry
Sally Kay, President & CEO
The Hosiery Association
Vietnam Textile and Apparel Industry: A Closer Look and Expectations from TPP Negotiation
Mr. Le Tien Truong, Vice President of Vietnam Textile and Apparel Association
Apparel Value Chains and Opportunities to Create Jobs in the TPP.
Toni Dembski-Brandl, On behalf of the TPP Apparel Coalition
The Mulesing Mutilation in Australian Wool: A PETA Presentation at the Trans-Pacific Partnership Negotiations
Kristin Tornicasa, Corporate Liaison
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA)
Marlboro Man as Investor: Will the TPPA Enable Private Investors to Enforce Trade Rules?
Harrison Institute for Public Law at Georgetown University
TPPA and Tobacco Products: The Threat to Public Health and The Case for Excluding Tobacco Products
Susan Liss, Executive Director,
Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids
Tobacco and Trade: Who will the TPPA Serve and Protect?
Forum on Democracy and Trade
TPP: A High Performance Trade Agreement to Advance Public Health
Ellen Shaffer, Co-Director
Center for Policy Analysis on Trade and Health; and Donald Zeigler, Director Prevention and Healthy Lifestyle American Medical Association
Trans-Pacific Partnership – Getting it Right
North Dakota Farmers Union
09/09/2011 5:06 PM
This afternoon, United States Trade Representative Ron Kirk is visiting Chicago to attend a reception with delegates and stakeholders at the eighth round of negotiations on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement. Ambassador Kirk and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel will make very brief welcoming remarks to reception attendees; USTR will release Ambassador Kirk’s short remarks as prepared.
Negotiators from the nine TPP partner countries – Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Chile, Malaysia, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, Vietnam, and the United States – are reporting good progress early in the eighth round of talks, expected to last through September 15. Negotiating groups that have already begun meetings include services, financial services, investment, customs, telecommunications, intellectual property rights (IPR), government procurement, sanitary and phytosanitary measures, and environment. Numerous negotiating teams are also holding bilateral meetings.
On Saturday, September 10, USTR will provide venues for nearly 60 stakeholder groups to make individual presentations directly to TPP delegates on issues of interest and concern. As at every U.S.-hosted TPP round, USTR invited stakeholders representing business, labor, academic groups and the public to be on-site at the TPP talks in Chicago to interact with negotiators and delegates from TPP partner countries. More than 250 are registered to attend.
In the Trans-Pacific Partnership, President Obama has directed U.S. negotiators to seek a 21st-century agreement that tackles old trade concerns in new ways, that deals with cross-cutting issues previously unaddressed in trade agreements, and that benefits from an unprecedented level of stakeholder input.
In 2009, the East-West Center estimated that Asia already accounted for 27 percent of total U.S. jobs from exports. International Monetary Fund forecasts that the Asia-Pacific economies will grow faster than the world average through at least 2014. Expanding U.S. exports to the Asia-Pacific region can contribute significantly to further job growth and economic recovery for America’s working families.
09/08/2011 10:37 PM
On Thursday, September 8 President Obama unveiled the American Jobs Act to the public. Part of the President’s strategy to rebuild the economy, the legislation is a set of ideas supported by both Democrats and Republicans that will help to put Americans back to work without adding anything to the deficit. It will help workers find jobs through investment projects, tax cuts for workers and for businesses, support for the long-term unemployed and more.
The American Jobs Act will make a real difference for real Americans who want to support their families, send their kids to school and save for retirement. The jobs it helps to create will be jobs in your community, for teachers laid off from state budget cuts, veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan, first responders, and construction workers who can help to rebuild our roads and bridges and schools. And it does more for those who have been unemployed for a long time, helping them support their families while they look for work and reforming the system to better connect them to real jobs.
Through the American Jobs Act, President Obama is rebuilding the economy the American way: based on balance, fairness and the same set of rules for everyone. It will create the jobs of the future by investing in small business entrepreneurs, education, and making things the world buys – something we know about at USTR, and why we're also working for the passage of job-creating trade agreements with South Korea, Colombia, and Panama.
The President will send the American Jobs Act to the Hill next week. Congress must act immediately to create more jobs and put more money in Americans’ pockets right now.