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November

  • 11/29/2013 1:00 AM

    In the Trans-Pacific Partnership the United States is working to do something new and important when it comes to medicines in the TPP region: striking the right balance to make life-saving medicine more widely available while creating incentives for the development of new treatments and cures. 

    USTR’s public engagement process – sharing information and integrating feedback into our negotiating positions –helps us in our efforts to pursue the strongest possible outcomes in the 12-country Trans-Pacific Partnership. This week we have another example of how our interactions with Congress and stakeholders has informed our thinking and helped us refine what we’re trying to do in the TPP. 

    In October of 2011, the United States publicly announced an initial proposal regarding intellectual property rights related to pharmaceuticals, particularly access to innovative and generic medicines in the Asia-Pacific region. We got a wide range of feedback on this proposal and other pharmaceutical IPR issues – from access to medicines (particularly in developing countries) to the array of options for the term of patent protection for research-intensive, leading-edge biologic medicines. 

    In response to that input, we began talking with our trading partners in recent months about a new set of ideas that would give more weight to concerns of developing countries. While intellectual property issues – particularly with regard to pharmaceuticals – are some of the toughest items to negotiate, we hope these ideas willlead us to a sound solution amenable to all partners in the TPP talks. During last week’s meetings in Salt Lake City, we listened to helpful, in-depth feedback from our TPP partners on these ideas. 

    Access to Medicines 

    The United States is a leading voice both for strong IPR protections and for access to medicines for the world’s poor, including in developing country TPP partners. We believe the best approach to pharmaceutical IPR issues in the TPP would be one that offers countries flexibility based on their individual circumstances. That’s why we’ve begun to work with TPP partners to gauge their interest in a “differential approach,” and to identify ways to tailor potential flexibilities based on countries’ existing laws and international obligations. 

    This flexible approach is based on precedent: Previous U.S. trade agreements covered by the May 10, 2007 bipartisan agreement. Under May 10, developing free trade agreement partners (like Peru) were offered greater flexibility relative to more developed trade agreement partners (like Korea). In TPP, we are seeking to pursue a similar idea, using previous agreements – like those with Peru, Australia, Chile, Korea, and Singapore – as benchmarks, but keeping an open mind as to how these standards can be tailored to reflect the situations of individual partners. 

    Biologic Medicines 

    One critical area of innovation that’s responsible for U.S. jobs and innovation is biologic medicines. These new drugs offer great potential for new treatments and cures that will benefit all of humankind and the United States is doing its part to ensure that the incentives will be there not just to increase the availability of existing drugs but to ensure that there is a strong pipeline of new medicines. 

    Biologic drugs need data protection because those drugs require enormous amounts of time and money to develop. Before entrepreneurs (in the United States and across the world) are willing to make the investment in new therapies, they want to know that they will have rights to their own research for a certain period of time in order to see a return on their investments. 

    In the TPP negotiations, opinions vary on the best term of patent protection for biologics. Standards also vary across the TPP region. Some TPP countries currently have no data protection for biologic drugs. Some have 5 years. Others have 8. Traditionally, the U.S. approach to trade negotiations has been to base proposals on existing U.S. law, where the current standard is 12 years. 

    Patent Opposition 

    Reflecting input from stakeholders, the U.S. now supports a more flexible approach under which partners could retain reasonable patent pre-grant opposition procedures. These procedures, available in some countries, allow third parties to formally object to a patent at the initial application phase. Based on stakeholder input and ongoing discussions with TPP countries, we believe that other elements in TPP will meet the larger goals of ensuring that patents are of high quality and provide appropriate incentives for innovation, while ensuring access to medicines. 

    What’s Next

    Informed by ongoing discussions with Congress and stakeholders from across the public and private sector, U.S. negotiators will work with counterparts from the other TPP countries to reach a 12-country agreement on how the final TPP should tailor pharmaceutical IPR protection to reflect the situations of individual countries and address the term of data protection for biologics.

  • 11/26/2013 9:00 PM

    Check out the US News and World Report article on the importance of reauthorizing Trade Promotion Authority, here.

     

    To learn more about Trade Promotion Authority, please click here: www.ustr.gov/trade-topics/trade-promotion-authority 

  • 11/26/2013 7:24 PM

    Thanksgiving

    “USTR is Thankful for…”

    This week, families around the United States are spending time with their loved ones to share the Thanksgiving holiday. Whether they’re enjoying traditional roast turkey and stuffing or innovative culinary creations, this time of year highlights the bounty of American agricultural products. From cranberries and potatoes to apples and pumpkins, American farmers export many of the traditional treats enjoyed on the tables of American families, and of families all over the world.

    President Obama’s ambitious trade agenda has encouraged a dramatic increase in U.S. exports to other countries to stimulate the economy and grow jobs for the middle class. His trade agenda protects and promotes the creation of thousands of jobs within the U.S. every year, and encourages the use of American-grown products around the world.  In the spirit of the Thanksgiving holiday, here’s a look at some of America’s most popular Thanksgiving foods that were exported to countries around the world in 2012:

    oliveoilTurkey:
    Turkey is the foundation of American Thanksgiving dinners. Interestingly enough, Americans are not alone in their love of a plump, juicy turkey. In 2012, the United States exported $586 million in turkeys, a 12% increase from 2011.

    Potatoes:
    American-grown potatoes, produced in areas like the plains of Iowa, are served in many delicious varieties: mashed, baked, scalloped, fried, au gratin, and even sweet potato pies. Whether you like your potato baked or in a casserole, you are not alone! The United States exported $235 million worth of potatoes in 2012.

    Cranberries:
    A Thanksgiving feast is not complete without a fresh serving of cranberry sauce. Cranberries are a multi-purpose food product with uses from juicing to baking.  The United States is the largest producer of cranberries in the world. The U.S. exported $21 million worth  of cranberries in 2012, an 11% increase from 2011.

    Beans:
    Americans love their beans, especially green beans and lima beans, and they are a staple on many families’ dinner tables. While casseroles are a popular vehicle for green beans in the United States, around the world, beans are popular in everything from curries to soups and even pastries.  In 2012, the U.S. exported $42 million worth of beans to families around the world.

    apple

    Apples: 
    There is nothing more American than apple pie, but apples are also used around the world in everything from salads to cider. Last year, the United States exported $1.1 billion worth of apples, showing an increase of 14% since 2011.

    Beer: 
    As families and friends celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday, meals are served, drinks enjoyed, and memories made. Football is also an important part of the American holiday tradition, and who doesn’t enjoy a cold beer while cheering on their favorite team?  Last year, the U.S. exported $448 million worth of beer, an increase of 21% from the previous year.

    Pumpkin: 
    A quintessential symbol of Autumn, pumpkins are an important part of the Thanksgiving meal, and lend themselves to delicious soups, salads, and pies. In 2012, the United States exported $21.7 million worth of pumpkin.

    cornCorn: 
    Corn is an important dish on the holiday table. Whether eaten as cornbread, or enjoyed in its purest form, corn on the cob, this American product is a vital part of Thanksgiving Day. In 2012, the U.S. exported $53.3 million worth of corn products, sharing the bounty of one of America’s most important crops.

    As evidenced by just these few products, trade enables the world to enjoy the bounty of products provided by American farmers and small businesses. It also is a vital way for many farmers, ranchers, and small businesses to support their families and communities. A cornucopia of fresh crops, stable jobs supported by exports, and a strong American middle class are a few of the many reasons USTR is thankful for international trade this Thanksgiving.

  • 11/22/2013 5:21 PM

    Check out the Trade Benefits America article on the top ten facts about Trade Promotion Authority, here.

     

    To learn more about Trade Promotion Authority, please click here: http://www.ustr.gov/trade-topics/trade-promotion-authority

  • 11/22/2013 5:05 PM

    This week, Deputy Assistant USTR for Small Business Christina Sevilla spoke at a workshop on the U.S.-Bahrain Free Trade Agreement (FTA) and small business.  Workshop participants included Minister of Commerce and Industry H.E. Dr. Hassan Bin Abdulla Fakhro, U.S. Ambassador Thomas Krajeski and staff from U.S. Embassy Manama and representatives from the Bahrain Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Bahrain Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) Society. The FTA, which took effect in August 2006, strengthens political and economic relations with a key partner in the Middle East, with nearly two billion in two-way trade supporting jobs and economic growth on both sides. U.S. exports to Bahrain in 2012 totaled $1.2 billion, and imports were $701 million.  

    Bahrain-SMEDeputy Assistant USTR for Small Business Christina Sevilla (center) with (from l.to r.) Abdulrahim Fakhro from Bahrain Polytechnic, Dr. Lulwa Almutlaq, President of Golden Trust; Ambassador Dr. Dhafer Alumran from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and  Dr Abdulhasan Al-Dairi, Bahrain SME Society

    Sevilla shared best practices on U.S. assistance to small and medium businesses and examples of smaller countries adapting the U.S. model of Small Business Development Centers to meet local needs. She highlighted niche opportunities for SMEs cooperation, including in areas, such as jewelry and leather goods.  Sevilla also participated in a women's entrepreneurship mentoring event with local female businessowners and students at Bahrain Polytechnic University. 

    Helping more SMEs take advantage of the benefits of the FTA can support greater economic opportunity and inclusive growth in the region.  To learn more about the U.S.-Bahrain Free Trade Agreement, please click here.

  • 11/21/2013 7:56 PM

    Today, Ambassador Miriam Sapiro delivered keynote closing remarks at Caribbean-Central American Action’s (C-CAA) 37th Annual Conference on the Caribbean and Central America. In her remarks, the Ambassador highlighted several key U.S. trade and investment-related initiatives in the region and stressed the importance the Obama Administration places on strengthening economic ties within the Caribbean Basin. 

    She noted that, “identifying new ways to promote trade, to generate new investment, and to improve our joint competitiveness in order to accelerate economic growth, create more jobs, reduce unemployment is a high priority for all of us.”

    AMS_C-CAAAmbassador Sapiro gives keynote remarks at the 37th Annual Conference on the Caribbean and Central America

    As evidence of U.S. economic engagement in the region, Ambassador Sapiro pointed to two free trade agreements that the United States brought into force last year, with Colombia and with Panama. U.S. exports were up more than 19 percent to Colombia and more than 17 percent to Panama in the first year following the agreements’ entry into force. 

    Additionally, Ambassador Sapiro relayed the outcomes of last week’s inaugural meeting of the U.S.-Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Council on Trade and Investment, which was established under the U.S.-CARICOM Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA).  Areas for new U.S.-CARICOM collaboration include intellectual property protection, e-commerce infrastructure development, and regulatory and standards cooperation.

    C-CAA is a not-for-profit organization devoted to promoting private sector-based sustainable economic development in the Caribbean Basin and Central America. The theme of this year’s two-day conference is “Advancing a Shared Agenda.”  

  • 11/15/2013 6:00 PM

    As part of a comprehensive review of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) – the cornerstone of U.S.-Africa trade policy – Ambassador Froman requested that the U.S. International Trade Commission conduct several studies on the impact and effectiveness of the thirteen-year-old law.  Ambassador Froman originally announced this review process at the 2013 AGOA Forum in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia in August 2013 in order to take an in depth look at what has worked for African exporters and U.S. businesses through AGOA – and what needs improvement.  Ambassador Froman requested the ITC studies as a next step in this process, and USTR is also conducting a series of brainstorming roundtables with a range of AGOA stakeholders.

    As part of its investigation, the ITC announced that a public hearing will be held on January 24th in order to hear the views of stakeholders on the future of AGOA.  In addition, the ITC will be accepting written comments through January 21st.  Anyone interested in the future of AGOA is encouraged to participate in this process.

    For additional details and to learn how to participate, visit the ITC’s website here to view the Federal Register Notice.

  • 11/15/2013 10:36 AM

    Five Things You Should Know About The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (T-TIP)
    By Dan Mullaney, Assistant U.S. Trade Representative for Europe and the Middle East

    T-TIPblogPresident Obama makes a statement on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, in June 2013

    This week, the second round of negotiations on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (T-TIP) is taking place in Brussels. Thanks to this agreement, Americans could find it a lot easier to sell goods and services to consumers in the European Union (EU).

    T-TIP will open doors for trade and investment across the Atlantic, from Wall Street to Main Street.  It offers an extraordinary opportunity for the United States to partner with the EU on an initiative that will build more jobs and spur economic growth, while at the same time maintaining high standards for health, safety, and environmental protection for people on both sides of the Atlantic. 

    Here are the Top 5 things you need to know about T-TIP:   

    1.  T-TIP will promote jobs and growth. The EU is already our largest trading partner, with $2.7 billion worth of goods and services trade flowing between us each day, and nearly $4 trillion invested in each other’s economies. Lowering barriers to trade isn’t just smart for business, it’s smart for everyone.  More than 13 million jobs in the United States and EU already depend on the U.S.-EU economic partnership, and T-TIP will result in more trade, more jobs, and more opportunities, including for small businesses across the country. 

    2.  T-TIP is not just another Free Trade Agreement.  It’s about strengthening the entire transatlantic relationship, a critical historic and strategic partnership.   By strengthening our economies together through T-TIP, the United States and the EU will be better able to address today’s most urgent global challenges.  

    3. T-TIP can set high standards and pioneer new rules for the global trading system.  The United States and EU have some of the most advanced regulatory systems in the world, and T-TIP will build on our shared commitment to strong regulations in the public interest.  T-TIP seeks to bridge divergences between our regulatory systems in ways that help us to work smarter while maintaining high levels of protection for consumers. 

    4.  We’re already working closely with the EU on many of these issues – and achieving results.  The United States and the EU have a long history of economic cooperation, since the EU’s beginnings as the Economic Coal and Steel Community in 1957.  We have come a long way, and have worked together effectively on a wide variety of challenges.  For example, we recently concluded an agreement that allows U.S. and EU organic food producers to sell their products more easily across the Atlantic.

    5.   The second round of T-TIP negotiations is taking place in Brussels this week.   We held the first round of T-TIP negotiations in July, and the second round is taking place in Brussels this week.  To learn more about the T-TIP second negotiating round, please visit the USTR T-TIP webpage, USTR twitter page, or visit the U.S. Mission to the EU T-TIP webpage

     

    For more information:

    Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, T-TIP Website 

    U.S. Mission to the EU, T-TIP website 

    U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman speaks to the German Marshall Fund, Sept 30, 2013

  • 11/13/2013 7:35 PM

    This week, Deputy Assistant U.S. Trade Representative for Small Business Christina Sevilla addressed the Organization of American States Third Inter-American Dialogue of High Level Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise Authorities in Brasilia, Brazil.  She spoke on the benefits of U.S. trade agreements that open market opportunities in the Western Hemisphere for small business under the NAFTA with Canada and Mexico; CAFTA-DR with Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, and the Dominican Republic; Free Trade Agreements with Chile, Colombia, Panama and Peru; trade preferences for the Caribbean countries; and new fora such as the U.S. –Brazil Agreement on Trade and Economic Cooperation (ATEC). 

    Sevilla-BrasiliaYvonne Gonzales from the State Department, Christina Sevilla from USTR, Vinicius Lages from Brazil’s SEBRAE, Carla Menendez McManus from the State Department, and Robert McKinley, from the University of Texas San Antonio SBDC gathered for the event.

    In particular, she welcomed the formal launch of the online platform linkage between U.S. Small Business Development Centers at SBDCglobal.com and Brazil’s Service for Micro and Small Enterprises (SEBRAE) Central de Oportunidades, which will connect SBDC and SEBRAE centers for professional trade training webinars and allow both sides to explore small business client matchmaking and partnerships.  Helping more small businesses take advantage of our trade relationship with Brazil, the United States’ 8th largest goods trading partner, is a key topic of ongoing discussion with Brazil under the U.S.-Brazil ATEC forum.  U.S. goods and private services trade with Brazil totaled an estimated $107 billion in 2012.  Exports totaled $68 billion; Imports totaled $39 billion.  The U.S. goods and services trade surplus with Brazil was $29 billion in 2012.

    More broadly, the Obama Administration’s Small Business Network of the Americas is connecting U.S. SBDCs with counterpart SME centers throughout the Hemisphere in order to expand trade, entrepreneurship development and job growth in the small business sector.

  • 11/12/2013 7:16 PM

    Today, Ambassador Froman hosted the 2013 Awards Ceremony for the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR). Held in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building, the event recognizes outstanding performance among USTR staff, including individuals and teams, within six award categories. The annual Awards Ceremony allows the United States Trade Representative to recognize the tireless and significant contributions of its outstanding members and teams, continuing a tradition of excellence and progress in international trade.

    Awards Ceremony-Froman JarrettAmbassador Froman introduces Valerie Jarrett, Senior Advisor to the President of the United States, who delivered a keynote address before the ceremony

    The 2013 Team Award was presented to seven teams, including China Raw Materials, Colombia Trade Promotion Agreement (TPA), Guatemala Labor Settlement Case, KORUS, Panama Trade Promotion Agreement (TPA), Russia Accession to WTO, and Winder Green Building Project. These teams were recognized for their dedication and coordination in accomplishing their unique and vital missions’ goals.

    In recognition of those who exceed their job’s requirements for the benefit of a colleague or a mission, USTR introduced the Way to Go Award this year. 2013 recipients include Cecilia Klein from the World Trade Organization (WTO) and Multilateral Affairs Office, Sonia Franceski from the Office of Europe and the Middle East, Ed Brzytwa in the Office of Japan, Korea, and APEC Affairs, and Gwendolyn Diggs from the General Counsel, Monitoring and Enforcement Office.

    USTRawards2Ed Brzytwa, Director for APEC Affairs, accepts the ‘Way to Go’ Award from Arrow Augerot and Ambassador Froman

    The Special Honor Awards include the Distinguished Career Service Awards, Excellence in Service Awards, and Kelly Awards.

    The Distinguished Career Service Award, an honorary award granted by the U.S. Trade Representative to employees who retire and whose career reflects long and exceptional devotion to duty, was granted to David P. Shark, the Deputy Chief of Mission in Geneva, and Patrick D. Coleman, from the Office of African Affairs, for their significant contributions to USTR as experts in their fields.

    The Excellence in Service Award is granted to individuals who have made an extraordinary contribution in an administrative services and mission support position.  This includes individuals who have made an extraordinary contribution to a major project or taskforce that contributed to the efficiency of mission support. This year’s three recipients were Brian P. Cochran from the Facilities Office, Rhonda Davis from the Finance and Budget Office, and Lia Theodosiou-Pisanelli from the Office of Southeast Asia and the Pacific.

    USTRawards3Rhonda Lindsay from the Services and Investment Office accepts the Linda Enoch Award

    The Linda Enoch Award was named for an outstanding administrative support employee who served the USTR for several years, and recognizes the dedicated service of support staff who exemplify her professionalism, initiative, creativity, and respect from peers and superiors. Recipients included Shelia Givens from the Office of Congressional Affairs, Rhonda Lindsay from the Services and Investment Office, and Rosa M. Waddy for the Office of Japan, Korea and APEC Affairs.

    USTRawards4Bill Busis from the Office of Monitoring and Enforcement accepts the Kelly Award

    Lastly, Ambassador Froman presented the Kelly Award. Established in 1980, the Kelly Award recognizes USTR staff who embody the personal qualities of leadership, strength of character, compassion, and warmth of the award’s namesake, William B. Kelly. In addition, recipients must exhibit an exacting set of high qualities and characteristics, which include professional excellence, extraordinary and sustained contributions to USTR’s goals, leadership, initiative and creativity, and great respect from peers. The four recipients of this distinguished award are Michael L. Beeman from the Office of Japan, Korea and APEC Affairs, Bill Busis in the Office of Monitoring and Enforcement, Probir Mehta from the Office of Intellectual Property and Innovation, and Arun Venkataraman from the Office of Central and South Asian Affairs

  • 11/12/2013 3:55 PM

    Ashgabat, Turkmenistan – From November 11-14th, senior government officials from the United States, Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan are meeting for the 8th United States-Central Asia Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA) Council Meeting. This is the second consecutive year that the TIFA Council – the key vehicle for trade and investment discussions between the United States and the countries of the region – has met in Central Asia, demonstrating the commitment of all Parties to the goals of the TIFA.

    Mara- TIFA opening ceremonyDeputy Assistant U.S. Trade Representative Mara Burr speaks at the opening ceremony of the U.S.-Central Asia TIFA Council Meeting

    Deputy Assistant United States Trade Representative for Central and South Asia Mara Burr will lead the U.S. delegation, which includes interagency representatives from the U.S. Trade Representative, the Department of State, Department of Commerce Commercial Law Development Program, the Department of Defense and the Defense Logistics Agency.  A U.S. business delegation organized by the U.S. – Turkmenistan Business Council will hold concurrent meetings on business opportunities in the region and will provide advice to the TIFA meetings on real time trade policy impediments to trade and investment.

    The U.S. – Central Asia Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA) was signed in 2004 with the governments of Kazakhstan, the Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan, and provides a strategic framework and guiding principles for dialogue on trade and investment issues between the parties. Afghanistan is an observer to the agreement, allowing the parties to discuss how facilitating regional trade and export logistics can help spur economic development in Afghanistan, and provide trade and investment opportunities across the region. For more information on the U.S.-Central Asia Trade and Investment Framework Agreement, click here

  • 11/08/2013 6:36 PM

    Today, stakeholder witnesses spoke before the interagency Trade Policy Staff Committee (TPSC) in a hearing on China’s compliance with its World Trade Organization (WTO) commitments.   Their testimony contributes to the preparation of the annual China WTO Compliance report mandated by Congress through the U.S.-China Relations Act of 2000. During the hearing, the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) and its interagency partners heard witnesses describe the progress and challenges that arise in China in priority areas such as market access restrictions, investment restrictions, intellectual property rights enforcement, export restraints and standards-setting, among other areas. 

    China hearingThe Trade Policy Staff Committee hears testimony on China's compliance with WTO commitments.

    Representatives from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, International Intellectual Property Alliance, United States Magnetic Materials Association, Information Technology Industry Council, and Telecommunications Industry Association provided their insights into China’s WTO compliance efforts.   The hearing was open to members of the public and media, and a list of public submissions assessing China’s compliance with WTO commitments may be found here. A full transcript of the hearing can be found on www.regulations.gov in fifteen (15) business days. 

  • 11/08/2013 5:02 PM

    This week Assistant U.S. Trade Representative for Africa Florie Liser participated in a forum entitled “Doing Business in Africa” hosted by Greenberg Traurig and the Corporate Council on Africa. The forum gathered speakers from the World Bank, the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), government agencies, and ambassadors to discuss the benefits of doing business in Africa. Assistant USTR Liser discussed the Obama Administration’s review of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) legislation in advance of its scheduled expiration in 2015, and highlighted the important role the U.S. government plays in fostering greater trade and economic cooperation between the U.S. and Africa.

    Florie@AfricaEventAssistant USTR for Africa Florie Liser speaks at an event entitled "Doing Business in Africa" hosted by Greenberg Traurig

    U.S. government agencies have ramped up their efforts to support increased U.S.-Africa trade and investment following President Obama's visit to Africa this past summer, where trade and investment were major themes in several meetings with the private sector in South Africa and Tanzania. During the trip, President Obama also announced his Trade Africa and Power Africa initiatives, as well as plans to host the first ever U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit in 2014.

    In her remarks, Assistant USTR Liser discussed the questions the Administration is examining as part of the AGOA review process that Ambassador Froman announced at the 2013 AGOA Forum in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.  AGOA provides duty-free access to the U.S. market for most products produced in Africa, and has supported a substantial number of jobs and economic opportunities in African countries, in a diverse range of value-added manufacturing sectors, including apparel, processed food products, and autos.  AUSTR Liser also cited trade and investment promotion activities and policies as key means to facilitate greater trade and economic engagement between the U.S and Africa. She discussed a variety of trade and investment policies that the U.S. government is pursuing in partnership with Africa including Trade and Investment Framework Agreements (TIFAs), Bilateral Investment Treaties (BITs), and the Obama Administration’s “Trade Africa” and “Power Africa” Initiatives. To learn more about AGOA and U.S. trade and investment with Africa, please click here

  • 11/06/2013 5:26 PM

    This morning, Acting Deputy U.S. Trade Representative Wendy Cutler spoke at a Peterson Institute for International Economics conference entitled “Abenomics:  From Macroeconomic to Structural Reform – Japan’s progress and America’s interest.”  The conference gathered government officials, academics, and private sector representatives to discuss key changes in Japan’s economic policy, and Acting Deputy USTR Cutler highlighted how the Abenomics' trade agenda and Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) create synergies that advance economic growth.

    Wendy @ PIIEActing Deputy U.S. Trade Representative Wendy Cutler speaks on a panel at the Peterson Institute for International Economics (USTR Photo)

    Deputy Cutler noted Japan’s entry to the Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations in July as a significant milestone that dramatically raised the economic importance of the agreement.  Japan, she said, has demonstrated impressive commitment to the negotiations and has been a close partner on a range of issues. The most challenging issues, Deputy Cutler said, have been in the parallel negotiations, involving motor vehicles and other non-tariff measures, and market access for industrial and agricultural goods.   Although Japan may have certain sensitivities with regard to market access, she said, all TPP countries will have to make difficult decisions in order to achieve an ambitious and comprehensive outcome.  While there are also challenges in the parallel negotiations, Deputy Cutler observed that there is tremendous synergy between what Japan is doing through Abenomics and what is being discussed in the parallel negotiations.  Commenting on the TPP negotiations more broadly, Deputy Cutler confirmed that negotiations are in the end game.  “While there are still tough issues to address, the toughest issues in trade negotiations are always left to the end,” she said.

    The TPP, which is the foundation of the Obama Administration’s economic policy in the Asia-Pacific Region, looks to bring together twelve advanced and emerging economies to create a free-trade zone encompassing a third of global trade and 40 percent of global GDP.  The TPP promotes regional integration by establishing a common set of trade and investment commitments, and also addresses 21st century issues like state-owned enterprises, intellectual property rights, regulatory convergence, and global supply chains.  To learn more about the TPP, click here.  

  • 11/06/2013 2:15 PM

    Yesterday, Ambassador Froman spoke on the importance of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (T-TIP) at the Munich Security Conference (MSC) in Washington, D.C. Attendees included high-ranking government officials, academics, and members of the National Security community with an interest in transatlantic cooperation.

    AMF at MSCAmbassador Froman delivers remarks at the Munich Security Conference (USTR photo)

    In his remarks, Ambassador Froman highlighted T-TIP’s potential to strengthen U.S.-EU bilateral trade and investment relations as well as raise standards in the global trading system.   A comprehensive agreement would expand economic and job growth by reducing tariffs on U.S. consumer and agricultural products, creating new openings for our service providers, and making U.S. and EU regulations and standards more compatible.  Ambassador Froman also stressed that to be successful, T-TIP must include rules, principles, and new modes of cooperation to address shared global trade challenges.

    For more information on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, click here.

  • 11/01/2013 12:13 PM
    Froman- SelectUSA

    Today, Ambassador Michael Froman spoke to attendees of the first annual SelectUSA Investment Summit Conference in Washington, D.C. about why investment in the United States is so important.  In his remarks, the Ambassador focused on how global companies benefit from U.S. free trade agreements and bilateral investment treaties. Participants included representatives from nearly 60 countries, economic development organizations from 47 states and two territories as well as 600 companies operating in 60 unique markets.

    Ambassador Froman also discussed progress the United States is making with ongoing trade initiatives, including the negotiations of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, and a new Trade Facilitation agreement at the World Trade Organization, and highlighted how these support President Obama’s ambitious economic agenda. 

    In 2012, Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) totaled $168 billion, with the United States receiving 12 percent of the global FDI flow, the world’s largest share.  Recognizing FDI’s critical role in the U.S. economy, President Obama established the SelectUSA initiative as a way to support job creation while stimulating economic growth and American competitiveness. Spearheaded by the Commerce Department, SelectUSA has evolved into a federal-level advocate for recruiting businesses to the United States.  The initiative has become an important tool for domestic and foreign businesses alike by providing expert advice and consolidating all information on federal resources and services in a single portal, www.SelectUSA.gov