On Wednesday, Ambassador Kirk joined Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis at the Department of Labor to serve as co-chair for a meeting with the Labor Advisory Committee for Trade Negotiations and Trade Policy (LAC). The LAC, which is jointly appointed by the U.S. Trade Representative and the Secretary of Labor, provides policy advice on issues involving trade, trade negotiations, and the operation of trade agreements.
At the meeting, Ambassador Kirk highlighted the benefits of the recently passed trade agreements with South Korea, Colombia, and Panama, as well as the reauthorization of Trade Adjustment Assistance. He also spoke about the successful conclusion of this year’s Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum, emphasizing the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Leaders’ endorsement of the broad outlines for a comprehensive regional agreement that addresses new and traditional trade issues and 21st-century challenges.
Ambassador Kirk speaks at the LAC meeting
In addition, Ambassador Kirk recapped his recent trip to Chengdu, China for the 2011 U.S-China Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade, a meeting at which China agreed to remove certain trade barriers and increase enforcement of intellectual property rights. Looking ahead, the Ambassador discussed the upcoming World Trade Organization (WTO) Ministerial Conference. Ambassador Kirk declared his intention to use it as an opportunity to promote a hard-nosed assessment of the difficulties facing the Doha round of negotiations, and to enable the WTO to explore fresh, credible approaches to multilateral trade negotiations.
The 25 members of the LAC, most of whom are union presidents, are drawn from numerous sectors ranging from health care and steelworkers to farm workers and engineers.