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On Thursday, Ambassador Kirk met with distinguished scholars, and faculty from the Cox School of Business at Southern Methodist University.
The discussion began with comments on the American economy and its changing role in trade. The Ambassador noted that "the biggest force in the world is the American consumer." With regards to the U.S.'s open economy, he said that "the more we get out of the way, the better you are," in reference to lowering trade barriers that place added burdens on the consumer.
Ambassador Kirk meets with students from Southern Methodist University's Cox School of Business
As the U.S. seeks to engage in more trade agreements, Ambassador Kirk said that a free trade agreement is a great validator because it signifies that a country is a good place to do business and is held to high standards in products and services.
Answering a question about intellectual property, the Ambassador commented that it is important to negotiate the strongest IP standards possible in order to protect American products, and those of other countries. Responding to a question on the European Union and its effects on the U.S. economy, Ambassador Kirk noting that "our foreign direct investment in Brussels is twice what it is in China," and that the U.S.'s largest trade relationship is with Europe. At the same time, the Ambassador said that trade with Europe should not limit the U.S.'s relationships to trans-Atlantic trade, but should also incorporate other countries, such as those involved in the Trans-Pacific Partnership.
The Ambassador discussed the impact of natural gas on the U.S. economy and its potential to decrease dependence on external energy sources. Echoing the President's State of the Union blueprint, Ambassador Kirk noted that investment in natural gas would create substantial job opportunities for Americans. The Ambassador concluded by signaling America's potential to become net exporters as emerging economies open their economies and are able to purchase American products.
A nationally ranked private university with seven degree-granting schools, SMU is located in the heart of Dallas and is home to 11,000 students. The SMU Cox School of Business is consistently ranked as a top business school in the nation and around the world. The Cox School was founded in 1920 as the Department of Commerce at SMU, at the request of the Dallas business community.