This morning Ambassador Kirk hosted the Advisory Committee on Trade Policy and Negotiations (ACTPN) meeting at the White House. The Committee, chaired by Terry McGraw and vice chaired by John Surma, had a robust discussion on various topics including the entry into force of the Korea and Colombia trade agreements, the ongoing negotiations in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), repealing Jackson Vanik and moving toward permanent normal trade relations (PNTR) with Russia, and the National Export Initiative.
ACPTN Members were able to ask questions and provide feedback during the meeting.
Ambassador Kirk began the meeting by highlighting the Interagency Trade Enforcement Center (ITEC); which was created by executive order. The ITEC will provide additional resources for USTR and other agencies to ramp up enforcement efforts and ensure a level playing field for U.S. businesses at home and abroad. Additionally, he provided updates on the 12th round of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which officially concludes this week.
Ambassador Kirk hosts the ACTPN meeting at the White House. From left to right, Council of Economic Advisors Alan Krueger, Vice-Chair and U.S. Steel CEO John Surma, Ambassador Kirk, Chair and McGraw-Hill Companies CEO Harold McGraw, White House Chief of Staff Jack Lew, Deputy Assistant to the President and National Security Advisor for International Affairs Michael Froman
The Ambassador was followed by remarks from the White House Chief of Staff Jack Lew, Deputy Assistant to the President and National Security Advisor for International Affairs Michael Froman, and chairman of the Council of Economic Advisors Alan Krueger. Mr. Lew thanked the ACTPN members for their leadership and stated the one of the members’ task is to focus on the economy of the future and the role of trade, which plays an integral part by discussing fair rules and market access. Mr. Lew also said that the “key is to have an environment where trade agreements are sustainable, as it is important to lay a foundation for trade policy.” With the G8 and G20 summits approaching, Mr. Froman emphasized that trade is always on the agenda and that it is “hard to overestimate the importance of the Trans-Pacific Partnership.” Mr. Krueger described the record level of exports, an increase in U.S. manufacturing jobs, and the opportunity to expand, especially with regards to improving international trade strategy.
ACTPN Member and CEO of Grocery Manufacturers Association Pam Bailey ask a question. United Steelworkers Leo Gerard sits to her right and Business Software Alliance CEO Robert Holleyman sits to her left.
Chair McGraw continued the discussion raising the need to find new ways for growth, through collaboration. The meeting then changed to an open forum, where members voiced their concerns on a wide variety of issues and asked questions. The Ambassador and Chair McGraw concluded the meeting, thanking everyone for their time and substantive contributions to the discussion.
ACTPN is a Presidential appointed and statutorily created Advisory Committee that provides advice tothe President and the Unites States Trade Representative. Today’s meeting included members that represent labor, agriculture, manufacturing, services, and non-governmental organizations.