Today Ambassador Kirk participated in a panel at the day-long White House Business Council, Council of Urban Professionals and Business Forward–Business Leader Forum. More than 150 diverse leaders attended the forum, which was hosted by Senior Advisor to the President Valerie Jarrett and Chairman and CEO of Ariel Investments John Rogers. The purpose of the forum was to build relationships with local leaders in the private sector and discuss how the Obama Administration can help the private sector create more jobs and grow the economy.
Ambassador Kirk, along with the Assistant to the President and Deputy National Security Advisor for International Economic Affairs, Michael Froman, Treasury Under Secretary for International Affairs Lael Brainard, and Deputy SBA Administrator Marie Johns, held a panel focused on U.S. policies to facilitate competition in a global economy. The discussion was moderated by the White House Deputy Director of Public Engagement, Greg Nelson.
During the discussion, Ambassador Kirk talked about the benefits of increased trade and export opportunities, and how they can help businesses of all sizes become more competitive in the global economy. Ambassador Kirk highlighted the benefits of the new U.S.-Korea trade agreement, which will go into effect on March 15 and immediately eliminate tariffs on 80 percent of U.S. exports of industrial products to Korea. This means that American exporters will have greater opportunities in the South Korean market, which will help grow the economy and create jobs here at home.
Ambassador Kirk also discussed the ambitious Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Agreement, which is currently in the 11th round of negotiations in Melbourne, Australia. The TPP will give American businesses unprecedented access to new markets in the Asia-Pacific region, resulting in more export opportunities in one of the fastest growing areas of the world. This will help American businesses expand, and fulfill their goal of creating more jobs for American workers.
Finally, Ambassador Kirk and the panel answered questions on how to increase technology and services exports to Asia, the changing dynamics in the Chinese market and how facilitating trade helps U.S. businesses reach the 95% of the world’s consumers living outside the U.S.