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Ambassador Kirk Updates the Intergovernmental Policy Advisory Committee on Key Trade Initiatives

By Tiffany Enoch, Deputy Assistant U.S. Trade Representative for Intergovernmental Affairs and Public Engagement

On Wednesday, October 10th, U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk hosted a conference call with members of the Intergovernmental Policy Advisory Committee (IGPAC). The IGPAC is comprised of representatives from state and local governments and organizations, who provide policy advice and recommendations to the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR).

Ambassador Kirk discussed a number of key trade issues on the call, including the critical role of the Interagency Trade Enforcement Center (ITEC). The ITEC, created by President Obama’s executive order earlier this year, draws on the expertise of many federal agencies to enforce trade agreements with our international trading partners. Ambassador Kirk spoke at length about ITEC’s enhanced enforcement efforts, and detailed some of the pending and completed enforcement cases before World Trade Organization (WTO) dispute panels.

Ambassador Kirk also briefed the Committee on the admission of Mexico and Canada into the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), the importance of securing permanent normal trading relations (PNTR) with Russia, the positive effects of trade agreements on jobs and growth, and the benefits of a potential comprehensive trade agreement between the United States and the European Union. IGPAC members engaged with Ambassador Kirk on these and other issues, and offered recommendations from their state and local perspectives.