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Washington, D.C. - United States Trade Representative Ron Kirk today notified Congress that President Obama intends to enter into negotiations of a regional, Asia-Pacific trade agreement, known as the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Agreement with the objective of shaping a high-standard, broad-based regional pact. In letters to Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate President Pro Tempore Robert Byrd (D-W.Va.), Ambassador Kirk said that such an agreement would help to expand American exports, saving and creating good jobs here at home. The first round of negotiations has already been announced by the current Trans-Pacific Partnership members for March 2010.
"USTR will now intensify consultations with Congress and with American stakeholders to develop objectives for the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement negotiations, in order to enter already-scheduled talks in March with a robust U.S. view that seeks the highest economic benefit for America's workers, farmers, ranchers, manufacturers, and service providers, and that reflects our shared values on labor, the environment, and other key issues," said Kirk. "The development of our negotiating positions will be a collaborative effort with elected leaders and stakeholders here at home, in order to shape an eventual Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement that is a new kind of trade agreement for the 21st century, bringing home the jobs and economic opportunity we want all our trade deals to deliver."
This week, USTR will publish in the Federal Register a notice requesting public input on the direction, focus, and content of Tran-Pacific Partnership negotiations. USTR has also created a new webpage - www.ustr.gov/tpp - to centralize Trans-Pacific Partnership information for the public.
On November 14, 2009, during his first trip to Asia as President of the United States, President Obama first announced the United States' intention to engage with the Trans-Pacific Partnership countries to shape a regional agreement. Since then, USTR staff have begun preliminary consultations with committees of jurisdiction in Congress, with stakeholders in American industry, agriculture, and other sectors, and with labor and environment advisors. The USTR team also has met with current Trans-Pacific Partnership members and with countries that have expressed interest in potentially joining the negotiations.
New USTR.gov webpage for Trans-Pacific Partnership information:
Text of USTR Letters to Congressional leaders: