I am excited to celebrate World Trade Month with all of you. All over the country, organizations are celebrating World Trade Month with informational and interactive events to educate the public on how trade grows the U.S. economy and supports high-quality jobs for American workers.
The Administration’s ambitious trade agenda for 2013 recognizes the important role of trade in our economy, and its contribution to President Obama’s National Export Initiative (NEI) goals. We have further intensified ongoing negotiations with Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) member countries with the aim of securing a high standard trade agreement to open markets for U.S. exports in the rapidly growing Asia-Pacific region. We are also in the midst of a consultation process in anticipation of launching negotiations with the European Union toward a Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), which would further strengthen the world’s largest trade and investment relationship. At the World Trade Organization (WTO), we continue our work to advance trade facilitation and expand the Information Technology Agreement.
Meanwhile, enforcement of our existing trade agreements remains, and will continue to be, a cornerstone of the Obama Administration’s trade policy. The Interagency Trade Enforcement Center (ITEC), an initiative announced during President Obama’s 2012 State of the Union Address, has increased trade enforcement efforts and leveraged existing resources more efficiently across the Administration. Further, the ITEC played a critical role in providing research and analysis to four important WTO cases, ensuring that our trading partners play by the rules.
A balanced and comprehensive approach to trade policy ensures that high-quality ‘Made in America’ products are sold to customers around the world, supporting millions of American jobs that are critical to workers, families, farmers, ranchers and businesses. As the Obama Administration continues to pursue initiatives that advance U.S. interests and reflect our values, we at USTR will continue to build on the achievements of the last four years – and look ahead to success in our newest pursuits.
We look forward to engaging with our global partners, with Congress, and with all of you to ensure that trade continues to move us forward to President Obama’s goal of an economy built to last with well-paying jobs for a growing middle class.
Ambassador Demetrios Marantis