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USTR Ron Kirk Comments on Trans-Pacific Partnership Talks

Washington, D.C. – As the second round of negotiations for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Agreement ended in San Francisco, Calif., today, U .S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk congratulated the U.S. delegation and TPP partners on making “significant, positive” progress during this week’s talks. Discussions on the high-standard, 21st century, Asia-Pacific regional trade agreement focused this week on four key goals: determining the architecture for market access negotiations, deciding the relationship between the TPP and existing FTAs among the negotiating partners, addressing “horizontal” issues such as small business priorities, regulatory coherence, and other issues that reflect the way businesses operate and workers interact in the 21st century, and proceeding toward the tabling of text on all chapters of the agreement in the third negotiating round, scheduled for October in Brunei.

“The Trans-Pacific Partnership is a launch pad for the Obama Administration’s intention to dramatically increase American exports to the Asia-Pacific and create good jobs here at home. We’re in the early stages of these talks, but our team will be reporting some significant, positive outcomes to Congress from this week in San Francisco,” said USTR Kirk. “I am also particularly proud of the degree to which USTR kept President Obama’s promise this week to conduct trade talks in a new way, by inviting U.S. stakeholders to be on-site throughout these negotiations and ensuring that Americans who want to help shape U.S. trade policy had the chance to be heard.”

USTR will brief the staffs of the Senate Finance and House Ways and Means Committees, as well as other key congressional stakeholders, early next week on details of the talks.

This week’s negotiations were conducted among the eight current TPP partner countries – Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Chile, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, the United States, and Vietnam. U.S. involvement in the TPP is predicated on the expansion of the agreement to include more economies across the Asia-Pacific region. TPP negotiations are expected to extend into 2011.

Today’s events began with a fifth and final live briefing for stakeholders in San Francisco for the round. See http://www.ustr.gov/about-us/press-office/blog/2010/june/us-stakeholders... for more information on stakeholder participation.) The following negotiating groups met today to round out the week of talks:

• Lead Negotiators

• Business Mobility

• Capacity Building

• Financial Services

• Government Procurement

• Intellectual Property Rights

• Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures

• Textiles

• Trade Remedies

MEDIA NOTE: USTR will hold a briefing in Washington, DC during the week of June 21 to update trade press on the San Francisco round of TPP talks. Currently available information about this week’s negotiating round, as well as the jobs and other benefits Asia-Pacific trade brings to various states across the country, can be found on www.ustr.gov/tpp and www.ustr.gov/tpp-san-francisco.