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Ambassador Kirk Says Trade Data Underscores Need to Open Markets to U.S. Goods

WASHINGTON - U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk commented today on the latest trade data released by the U.S. Commerce Department. The February 2009 U.S. International Trade in Goods and Services report showed U.S. export increasing by 1.6 percent to $126.8 billion since January, while imports fell 5.1 percent to $152.7 billion overall. This resulted in a 28.3 percent reduction in the U.S. trade deficit. Year-to-date (January-February), U.S. exports are down 16.7 percent and U.S. imports are down 25.8 percent.

"Shrinking trade deficits are usually good news, but these numbers reflect the ongoing contraction in world trade overall. This new trade data underscores the need to open more world markets to U.S. farmers, ranchers, manufacturers, and service providers, and to work with our trading partners to grow the global trading system again," said Ambassador Kirk.

"At this time of economic uncertainty, smart trade policy can be a pillar of our country's economic recovery. USTR is working with our trading partners and with Congress to open markets to American goods and services, and to craft trade policy that works for America's working families."