Office of the United States Trade Representative


Enforcement: The Other Side Of Trade
By: Gregory Walters, Director of Small Business Affairs, Office of the U.S. Trade Representative 04/10/2003

In today’s fast paced global environment, President Bush is committed to ensuring that U.S. small businesses are competing on a level playing field.  In the past, this column has focused on the Bush Administration’s opening of new markets through bilateral free trade agreements, the Free Trade Area of the Americas, and the World Trade Organization to create a level playing field.   

But opening markets is only one facet of President Bush’s trade agenda. 

The Bush Administration has been actively enforcing U.S. and global trade laws.  Working through formal and informal channels, the Bush administration is emphasizing progress over procedure.  With a focus on results, the Administration is working with our trading partners and through the dispute resolution mechanism available in our trade agreements to ensure that U.S. businesses are on a level playing field with their foreign competitors.

In the past months, the United States has filed the first WTO case against China, calling for an end to its practice of using tax law to discriminate against U.S. semiconductor makers and filed a WTO case against Mexico seeking to remove protectionist taxes on U.S. high fructose corn syrup. 

Most recently, the U.S. recently won a WTO case against Mexico in the area of telecommunications and against Canada for their grain distribution system.

Results don’t depend solely on litigation.  The Bush Administration pressed China to open its markets for soybeans, cotton, biotech products, and U.S. insurance and auto financing companies, all without needing to file a case.  The Administration has also reopened the Mexican market to American beef, reopened the Indian market for American almonds, and had Thailand remove barriers at the border and stepped-up its IPR enforcement

By opening new markets and vigilantly enforcing trade agreements, the Bush Administration is working to ensure an environment for your businesses to succeed abroad.    

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