Washington, D.C. - United States Trade Representative Ron Kirk today announced the designation of an Assistant United States Trade Representative (AUSTR) for Small Business, Market Access, and Industrial Competitiveness. The position will be filled by Jim Sanford, who now adds responsibility for small business issues to his existing portfolio and previous title of AUSTR for Market Access and Industrial Competitiveness.
Ambassador Ron Kirk announced the new position this morning at the USTR conference event, "Jobs on Main Street, Customers around the World: A Positive Trade Agenda for US Small- and Medium-Sized Enterprises." Kirk explained that in this new role, Sanford will help ensure that USTR's trade policy efforts address the challenges facing smaller exporters and promotes the global export opportunities these businesses need to create jobs here at home.
"The Office of the United States Trade Representative has a special commitment to America's small- and medium-sized businesses, and Jim Sanford will help to lead USTR's efforts to serve those businesses better," said Ambassador Kirk. "As our point person for small- and medium-sized businesses, Jim will help us to target our trade policy in ways that will generate new opportunities for America's small businesses and new jobs for America's workers."
Sanford issued a brief comment, stating: "I am pleased to serve in this new role and look forward to working closely with my USTR colleagues to expand our attention to small business. As AUSTR for Market Access and Industrial Competitiveness, I have worked actively to ensure that American businesses of every size and workers of every kind have the opportunity to compete and succeed in the international marketplace. That is still my goal. I am committed to advancing USTR's efforts to help America's smallest exporters succeed alongside America's largest."
This appointment was made in consultation with Congressional leaders. Today's announcement was part of a full week of USTR activities and announcements focused on small- and medium-sized enterprises, following up on the announcement in October 2009 of a USTR-wide initiative to enhance trade policy's responsiveness to these businesses.