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Kirk Comments on Exports, U.S. Jobs

Washington, D.C. - United States Trade Representative Ron Kirk spoke on Thursday morning to attendees of the Black Enterprise Wal-Mart Economic Forum in Washington, D.C. In his remarks, Ambassador Kirk reviewed President Barack Obama's comments on trade in Wednesday night's State of the Union address, and talked about USTR's efforts to support American job creation through trade policy that increases U.S. exports.

You can view the President's remarks on trade on the USTR website at this link:

http://www.ustr.gov/about-us/press-office/blog/2010/january/president-obama-lays-out-export-initiative-create-jobs

And excerpts of Ambassador Kirk's remarks today follow here:

"The President has once again wisely focused our attention on the single most important task ahead of us. And that's finding ways to help put America back to work.

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"When the President began to talk about our relationships with the world, and he talked about our ability to help put America back to work by improving those relationships and particularly using the power of exports as not only a commercial and foreign relations tool but a way to help create jobs, I didn't have to be prompted to stand up and applaud because that is the focus of our work at the United States Trade Representative's Office.

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"[President Obama] singled out the work that we've been doing within the global trading community and the World Trade Organization to try to bring a close a seven-year effort to bring a new world trade enhancing model... the Doha Round... He also talked about a more forward-looking initiative of ours in shaping and taking advantage of the opportunities that lie ahead with the incredible growth that's going to come in the Asia Pacific region... the Trans-Pacific Partnership. ...[t]he President also committed that we would take a critical look at how we can move forward and prosper from the pending free trade agreements that our office inherited with Korea, Panama and Colombia.

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"But the central reason for my being here, for my talking to you about trade, goes back to the President's main point last night: it's all about jobs. And if done right, President Obama and I firmly believe that a smart aggressive progressive trade policy of the United States can be a critical part of our overall economic recovery program."