From the White House Rose Garden
As Prepared for Delivery
Thank you Mr. President. I am both humbled and honored to be here today. You
have set a high bar for your Trade Representative. And you have my commitment to
meet and desire to exceed those expectations on behalf of American workers,
farmers, manufacturers and service providers.
I also want to thank Ambassador Portman for his confidence and support. I
value his friendship and congratulate him on his new role as Director of the
Office of Management and Budget. I am certain he will bring the same energy and
determination to OMB as he brought to USTR.
Nearly 29 years ago, I walked into the Office of the U.S. Trade
Representative looking for my first job. I joined the USTR team as an
agricultural trade negotiator, seeking to build market access for American
farmers and ranchers in the Tokyo Round multilateral trade negotiation. Today
I’ve come full circle.
Happily, USTR continues to be staffed by the most remarkable and hardworking
team of career professionals and political appointees to be found anywhere in
the public, private or nonprofit sectors. And I look forward to continuing my
association with them.
Since that first job at USTR, international economic policy has remained
front and center in my career, whether I was working for Senator Danforth and
the Senate Finance Committee, representing Motorola in Asia, or serving as Dean
of the University of Maryland’s School of Public Policy.
In his State of the Union address, President Bush spoke of the risks of
economic isolation and the critical importance of American competitiveness. I am
utterly convinced that to maintain American global prosperity, we must pursue a
sensible, market-oriented trade policy that provides greater market access and
enforces our laws and agreements.
And for these policies to be credible and sustainable we must actively work
to generate bipartisan support in Congress. This has been a priority for
President Bush, for Ambassador Portman, and it is a priority for me. If
confirmed, will continue our aggressive congressional outreach to help restore
the bipartisan consensus for trade.
Last September, the President set clear trade priorities for the United
States in a speech to the UN General Assembly. His vision guides USTR’s ongoing
efforts to secure an ambitious outcome to the Doha Development Round
negotiations in the WTO. It is a once in a generation opportunity to generate
global economic growth and to lift millions out of poverty. And it will continue
to be a top priority for this Administration.
USTR has an equally ambitious bilateral and regional agenda – including ongoing negotiations
with 14 countries to dramatically reduce trade barriers, to set important
precedents for future trade negotiations, and to grow a critical mass of
countries that recognize the immense benefits that come with more open
international commerce. Here, again, holding our trading partners accountable
through enforcement of existing trade laws and agreements will continue to be a
critical component of our trade agenda.
Again, Mr. President, I thank you - for providing this fantastic opportunity
for me to serve you and our nation in advancing U.S. interests through a
sensible and energetic trade agenda.