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U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk comments on the April 2009 Trade Data

Washington, D.C. -U.S. Department of Commerce today released the April 2009 U.S. International Trade in Goods and Services. The report indicated that U.S. exports of goods and services in the first four months of this year were 18% lower than in the same period of 2008. This drop reflects reduced demand in foreign markets for U.S. products, due to the global recession. The decline in U.S. imports, at over 27% in this year's first four months, was even greater than the drop in exports. The import decrease reflects both recession in the U.S. economy and lower petroleum import prices this year, compared to the same period of 2008. The goods and services trade deficit, on a balance-of-payments basis, has been slightly more than halved so far this year, compared to last.

"It is evident from today's trade data report that our global community is facing a difficult economic environment," said Ambassador Kirk. "Now more than ever, we should strengthen, not weaken, our economic ties with the world community because international trade can and will help to drive the world's economic recovery."

"This week in Bali, my fellow Cairns Group ministers and I have committed to achieve a successful conclusion of the Doha Round in order to secure the vitality of international trade. I will continue to engage in meaningful dialogue with Members of Congress as well as our trading partners to create a roadmap that will help lead to the conclusion of the global trade deal."