Content on this archived webpage is NOT UPDATED, and external links may not function. External links to other Internet sites should not be construed as an endorsement of the views contained therein.

Click here to go to the CURRENT USTR.GOV WEBSITE


Ambassador Kirk Comments on 2010 Trade Policy Agenda

Ambassador Kirk issued a statement today upon the delivery to Congress of President Obama's 2010 Trade Policy Agenda and 2009 Annual Report.

"Ninety-five percent of the world's consumers live outside the United States, and the President's trade agenda will help to get American workers and businesses access to as many of those customers as possible - in ways that affirm our rights in the global trading system and that reflect American values on worker rights, the environment, and open dialogue here at home," said Ambassador Kirk. "The priorities in this Agenda can work to strengthen the rules-based global trading system on which the nations of the world depend, while opening markets and ensuring that American businesses and workers receive the economic benefits of trade."

The President has set a goal of doubling U.S. exports in the next five years to support another two million American jobs. The 2010 trade agenda explains how USTR will support this National Export Initiative through new market openings and trade enforcement, as part of a broader strategy that seeks to strengthen the global trading system and reflect American values as we uphold our commitments around the world. Highlights of the Agenda include key commitments to:

Support and strengthen a rules-based trading system. The United States strongly supports an ambitious and balanced Doha agreement that liberalizes three core market access areas - agriculture, goods and services. An agreement that boosts the world economy, supports jobs here at home, and assists poor countries can be reached if all major economies come to the negotiating table.

Enforce American rights in the rules-based trading system. In 2009, the Obama Administration responded to Americans' calls for more vigilant enforcement of our trade rights. In 2010, USTR will strengthen further monitoring and enforcement, bringing cases at the WTO as necessary. We will increase focus on non-tariff barriers that hinder U.S. exports. We will fully enforce labor and environmental rights in trade agreements.

Enhance U.S. growth, job creation and innovation. Deeper engagement with major emerging markets is critical for American trade prospects and the realization of trade's benefits in terms of economic growth, well-paying jobs here at home, and support for American innovation. We will emphasize bilateral relations with such markets as well as with long-standing key partners, and will pursue regional engagement, particularly the President's intention to negotiate a Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement to access key markets in the Asia-Pacific for decades to come.

Work to resolve outstanding issues with pending FTAs and build on existing agreements. Proper resolution and implementation of the pending FTAs with Panama, Colombia and Korea can bring significant economic benefits. In 2010, we will continue to consult with Congress and the public and to engage with these nations to address outstanding issues; we will also strengthen relationships with current partners such as Canada, Mexico, Japan, and the European Union, and seek to maximize returns on the economic opportunities of existing agreements.

Facilitate progress on national energy and environmental goals. Good trade policy can accelerate the success of sound energy and environmental initiatives and can complement sustainable growth. We support fast-tracking action with willing partners in the WTO's work on liberalizing trade in innovative, climate-friendly goods and services through tariff reductions, and other initiatives.

Foster Stronger Partnerships with Developing and Poor Nations. This administration supports expanding trade opportunities to stimulate market-led growth and help improve the lives of people in the least developed nations. Opportunities created by open markets and preferences such as the Generalized System of Preferences require complementary measures such as technical assistance, and market-based and rule of law reforms at home to maximize benefits.

Reflect American values in trade policy. USTR will consult with Congress, partner with small businesses, continue innovative outreach with new media tools, and widen the scope of stakeholder input to ensure as broad a cross-section of views as possible, consistent with our goals of openness in government.

Ambassador Kirk will testify before the Senate Finance Committee this week and before the House Ways and Means Committee in the coming weeks to discuss the Agenda with congressional leaders.