Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Obama Administration Releases 2010 Trade Agenda

(World Trade Interactive)

The Obama administration delivered to Congress March 1 its 2010 Trade Policy Agenda and 2009 Annual Report. A press release from the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative states that this document explains how USTR will support the president’s National Export Initiative, which seeks to double U.S. exports over the next five years, through new market openings and trade enforcement.

According to the press release, highlights of the 2010 agenda include commitments to:

• support and strengthen a rules-based trading system, including “an ambitious and balanced Doha agreement that liberalizes three core market access areas - agriculture, goods and services;”

• enforce U.S. rights in the rules-based trading system by strengthening monitoring and enforcement, bringing cases at the World Trade Organization as necessary, increasing focus on non-tariff barriers that hinder U.S. exports, and fully enforcing labor and environmental rights in trade agreements;

• enhance U.S. growth, job creation and innovation by emphasizing bilateral relations with major emerging markets and long-standing key trade partners; pursuing regional engagement (particularly through the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement); continuing to consult with Congress, the public and the affected nations to address outstanding issues regarding the pending free trade agreements with Panama, Colombia and Korea; strengthening relationships with current partners such as Canada, Mexico, Japan and the European Union; and seeking to maximize returns on the economic opportunities of existing agreements;

• facilitate progress on national energy and environmental goals by working to fast-track action with willing partners in the WTO’s work on liberalizing trade in innovative, climate-friendly goods and services through tariff reductions; and

• foster stronger partnerships with developing and poor nations by expanding trade opportunities and maximizing existing benefits through measures such as technical assistance and market-based and rule of law reforms