Extension of Investigations: Ukraine

Extension of Investigations: Ukraine

Final Text

Preamble

1. Initial Provisions and Definitions

2. National Treatment and Market Access for Goods

  • Annex 2-A: National Treatment and Import and Export Restrictions
  • Annex 2-B: Tariff Elimination

3. Agriculture

  • Annex 3-A: Agricultural Safeguard Measures

4. Textiles and Apparel

5. Pharmaceuticals and Medical Devices

6. Rules of Origin and Origin Procedures

7. Customs Administration and Trade Facilitation

8. Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures

9. Technical Barriers to Trade

  • Annex 9-A: Committee on Technical Barriers to Trade
  • Annex 9-B: Automotive Working Group

10. Trade Remedies

11. Investment

  • Annex 11-A: Customary International Law
  • Annex 11-B: Expropriation
  • Annex 11-C: Service of Documents on a Party under Section B
  • Annex 11-D: Possibility of a Bilateral Appellate Mechanism
  • Annex 11-E: Submission of a Claim to Arbitration
  • Annex 11-F: Taxation and Expropriation
  • Annex 11-G: Transfers

12. Cross-Border Trade in Services

  • Annex 12-A: Professional Services
  • Appendix 12-A-1: Sectors for Mutual Recognition and Temporary Licensing
  • Annex 12-B: Express Delivery Services
  • Annex 12-C: Consultations Regarding Non-Conforming Measures Maintained by a Regional Level of Government

13. Financial Services

  • Annex 13-A: Cross-Border Trade
  • Annex 13-B: Specific Commitments
  • Annex 13-C: Financial Services Committee
  • Annex 13-D: Supply of Insurance by the Postal Services to the Public

14. Telecommunications

  • Annex 14-A
  • Annex 14-B

15. Electronic Commerce

16. Competition-Related Matters

17. Government Procurement

  • Annex 17-A: Government Procurement Annex

18. Intellectual Property Rights

19. Labor

  • Annex 19-A: Labor Cooperation Mechanism

20. Environment

21. Transparency

22. Institutional Provisions and Dispute Settlement

  • Annex 22-A: Alternative Procedures for Disputes Concerning Automotive Products
  • Annex 22-B: Committee on Outward Processing Zones on the Korean Peninsula
  • Annex 22-C: Joint Fisheries Committee

23. Exceptions

24. Final Provisions

Annex I: Non-Conforming Measures for Services and Investment

Annex II: Non-Conforming Measures for Services and Investment

Annex III: Non-Conforming Measures for Financial Services

General Notes, Tariff Schedules, and TRQ Annexes

Hun Quach

Assistant United States Trade Representative for Congressional Affairs

Hun Quach is Assistant USTR for Congressional Affairs. The Office of Congressional Affairs plays a pivotal role in the development of U.S. trade policy through communication with the U.S. Congress. Ms. Quach manages USTR’s outreach to Congress and serves as the primary point of contact for Members of Congress and their staff. In this role, she ensures that our trade policy is responsive to lawmakers’ priorities and interests.

Before joining USTR, Ms. Quach worked for Senator Max Baucus on the Senate Finance Committee for six years, most recently as International Trade Advisor, where she advised the Chairman and Senators on a variety of international trade and economic issues. She also served as a Legislative Assistant to Representative Adam Smith from Washington. Her prior experience also includes working on agriculture issues as a fellow at the Congressional Hunger Center.

Ms. Quach graduated with a double degree in Political Science and Business Administration from the University of Washington.

Statement by U.S. Mission to the World Trade Organization Attaché Neil Beck at the WTO Trade Policy Review of Viet Nam

Statement by U.S. Mission to the World Trade Organization Attaché Neil Beck at the WTO Trade Policy Review of Viet Nam

World Trade Organization
Geneva, Switzerland
September 17 and 19, 2013

*As Prepared for Delivery*

Thank you, Chair. The United States is pleased to participate in Viet Nam’s first Trade Policy Review. We warmly welcome Viet Nam’s delegation, led by Tran Quoc Khanh, Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade, and appreciate the reports compiled by the WTO Secretariat and the Government of Viet Nam, which provided us with a detailed review of recent developments in Viet Nam’s trade and economic policy. As always, we also appreciate the contributions of the discussant, Ambassador Francisco Pirez Gordillo (Uruguay).

Viet Nam is an important commercial partner for the United States. Our bilateral trade relationship has deepened significantly since the signing of the United States – Viet Nam Bilateral Trade Agreement (BTA) in 2001 and since Viet Nam’s accession to the WTO in 2007. Bilateral trade between the United States and Viet Nam has grown by more than 1500 percent since the BTA entered into force, and more than 150 percent since Viet Nam joined the WTO. By 2012, Viet Nam was the 29th largest goods trading partner of the United States with $24.9 billion in total two way goods trade. Foreign investment also has grown steadily, with stock of U.S. foreign direct investment in Viet Nam totaling $1.1 billion in 2012, an increase of 10.4 percent from 2011.

The United States and Viet Nam continue to work together to further advance the multilateral trading system, as well to expand our bilateral trade relationship. In June 2007, the United States and Viet Nam signed a bilateral Trade and Investment Framework Agreement. Additionally, in 2010, Viet Nam joined the negotiations for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), representing an important next step to further enhance the trade and investment relationship between the United States and Viet Nam. Through the TPP negotiations, the United States, Viet Nam and other TPP parties seek to develop a comprehensive, high-standard, 21st-century regional trade agreement that will support economic integration across the Asia-Pacific and promote regional prosperity and stability. During President Obama and President Sang’s meeting in July of this year, the Presidents welcomed efforts to further bilateral economic, commercial, and investment ties and affirmed their commitment to opening a new phase of bilateral relations.

We recognize the economic and political reforms that Viet Nam has undertaken since the 1980s, which have facilitated Viet Nam’s integration into the international trading system. However, despite significant achievements by Viet Nam, there are certain areas in which the Government of Viet Nam could make further improvements and implement additional reforms, thereby further enhancing its competitiveness in the multilateral trading system.

For example, the United States appreciates that Viet Nam publishes laws, regulations and administrative procedures of general application in its Official Gazette. Further, Viet Nam posts full drafts of legal acts on a government website, and provides opportunities for public comment before these legal documents go into effect. However, we note that there have been several examples where Viet Nam has not posted draft measures and allowed time for comment, and has promulgated and enacted several regulations in less than the prescribed 45 day period, creating some uncertainty for traders. We urge Viet Nam to ensure that it meets the procedures and timeframes established for all draft laws, regulations and administrative measures, including notices and circulars.

While we recognize Viet Nam’s efforts to gradually open its telecommunications market in line with its GATS commitments, the United States understands that Viet Nam’s Decree 72 was implemented on September 1st, which impairs the telecommunications commitments that were made in the GATS both with respect to Internet Access Services, and packet-switched data services. We urge Viet Nam to ensure that in practice this Decree will not affect the ability of internet service providers to continue offering news and social media that sustains the viability of the commercial internet market, and that this Decree will not affect the free flow of online information necessary to support growth of electronic commerce.

We are also concerned that, as the Secretariat’s report suggests, since Viet Nam’s accession six and a half years ago, Viet Nam has not properly notified or clarified its import licensing procedures in light of the WTO Import Licensing Procedures Agreement. We look forward to Viet Nam’s complete response to the questionnaire regarding its import licensing regime prior to the upcoming annual September 30th deadline.

The Secretariat’s report also states that, according to Vietnamese businesses, the application of HS codes at the time of importation is sometimes inconsistent. The identical goods are often subject to different classification and therefore different tariff duties, and exporters and importers report that product misclassification remains a significant challenge. We ask that Viet Nam take steps to address these concerns and to ensure uniform application of all customs regulations.

With regards to SPS issues, we encourage Viet Nam to provide notifications required by the SPS Agreement at an early stage to ensure a reasonable period of time for consideration of comments prior to adoption and enforcement of final rules. We acknowledge Viet Nam’s commitment to lift its ban on imports of offal products, which has been raised by the United States at the WTO SPS Committee, and look forward to Viet Nam’s notification to the SPS Committee that the ban has been lifted.

The United States commends the commitments made by Viet Nam on intellectual property protection and enforcement, which will promote investment in the Vietnamese market. We urge Viet Nam to notify amendments to its 2008 legislation to the TRIPS council and sign the most recent treaties negotiated in WIPO and trademark procedural treaties. The United States also encourages Viet Nam to ensure the robustness of criminal decrees and circulars as an effective deterrent against intellectual property infringement.

We also recognize that Viet Nam undertook significant market opening on goods in the technology sector by joining the Information Technology Agreement (ITA) as part of its Accession. As a result, Viet Nam has become a more attractive place for foreign investment and an important link in global and regional production chains for IT products. We encourage Viet Nam to continue this liberalization trend by joining the negotiations to expand the ITA.

In closing, the United States wishes to commend Vietnam for its strong efforts overall to implement it accession commitments and make WTO provisions the main point of reference for the onward development of its trade policies. We thank the delegation of Viet Nam for its active participation in this important process, and welcome the opportunity to continue to work cooperatively with Viet Nam to further expand our bilateral relationship and to promote the multilateral trading system.

APEC 2011 Blog
Hello

The 2011 APEC Ministerial and Economic Leaders' Meeting concluded on November 13, 2011 in Honolulu, Hawaii.  APEC 2012 events will be hosted by APEC member economy Russia.


November 17, 2011

APEC Business Spotlight: SKAI Ventures Export to the Asia-Pacific Region
11/17/2011 - 12:55pm

SKAI Ventures is a Hawaii-based venture accelerator—a company which seek out new ideas and innovations with biomedical and biodefense applications to invest in, develop, and market as a finished product. Currently, SKAI Ventures portfolio companies include Eyegenix, TruTag Technologies, CBI Polymers, SKAI Vision Institute, Hawaii Endoscopy Institute, and the Eye Surgery Center of Hawaii. The three largest companies, Eyegenix, TruTag Technologies, and CBI Polymers, all export significantly to the Asia-Pacific region.

CBI Polymers — a company which developed and now markets a nuclear and chemical decontaminant called DeconGel — exported about $100,000 worth of products and services in 2011. Half of those exports were to markets in the Asia-Pacific region including Japan, Korea, Singapore, and Canada. However, SKAI Ventures portfolio companies, including CBI Polymers, often find difficulties in expanding to new markets in the Asia-Pacific region because of trade barriers and country-specific regulations.

Last week, at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Ministerial and Leaders’ Meetings in Honolulu, USTR worked with our APEC trade partners to begin to reduce barriers to trade in the Asia-Pacific region. President Obama worked with fellow APEC leaders on a set of principles to increase innovation and encourage more market access for new business and industries by streamlining and coordinating regulations. These reduced barriers will help companies like CBI Polymers to introduce their products into new markets and compete on a level playing field in those foreign markets.

Recently, CBI Polymers was able to work with the United States Department of Commerce to bring their DeconGel to Japan to aid in the cleanup efforts of the recent nuclear catastrophe. With more opportunities like this to bring their products to markets overseas, CBI Polymers and its parent company SKAI Ventures will be able to support additional jobs for workers in Hawaii.


November 14, 2011

What They Are Saying: 2011 APEC Ministerial and Economic Leaders' Meeting
11/14/2011 - 12:00pm

This week, The Office of the United States Trade Representative concluded the 2011 Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Ministerial and Economic Leaders’ meetings. Below is what people are saying about the important initiatives announced during the meetings.

American Automotive Policy Council

Information Technology Industry Council

MPAA

National Foreign Trade Council

U.S. Chamber of Commerce


November 13, 2011

Trade with the Asia-Pacific Region Benefits Indiana’s Businesses and Workers
11/13/2011 - 6:05pm

In a world where 95 percent of consumers reside outside our borders, APEC comprises 40 percent of the global population. The Asia-Pacific region offers tremendous opportunities for U.S. exporters. The Asia-Pacific region is the largest market in the world for U.S. exports and receives over 70 percent of U.S. agricultural exports. Many of these dynamic economies are growing faster than the world average and together generate 56 percent of global GDP in 2010.

Indiana’s goods exports in 2010 totaled $29 billion. Of Indiana’s total exports, $18 billion, or 63 percent, went to markets in the Asia-Pacific region. The top three product categories to APEC member economies exported in 2010 were transportation equipment, machinery, and chemical manufactures.

Indiana Exported $18 Billion in Goods to Asia-Pacific Countries in 2010:

 Indiana Exports Graph

Goods Exports Support Jobs for Indiana Workers: Jobs supported by Indiana’s goods exports are estimated to be 238,000 (2008 data are the latest available). Nearly one-quarter (22.7 percent) of all manufacturing workers in Indiana depend on manufacturing exports for their jobs (2009 data are the latest available). Although not measured, there are also additional jobs supported by Indiana’s exports of services.

A total of 6,558 companies exported goods from Indiana locations in 2008. Of those, 5,619 (86 percent) were small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), with fewer than 500 employees.

Small and medium-sized firms generated 19 percent of Indiana’s total exports of merchandise in 2008. Notably, small and medium-sized firms benefit from the tariff-elimination provisions of free trade agreements. The transparency obligations, particularly those in the customs chapters, are vital to small and medium-sized firms, which may not have the resources to navigate customs and regulatory red tape.

What People Are Saying: TPP Announcement of Broad Outlines
11/13/2011 - 3:18pm

On November 12, 2011, the Leaders of the nine Trans-Pacific Partnership countries – Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Chile, Malaysia, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, Vietnam, and the United States – announced the achievement of the broad outlines of an ambitious, 21st-century Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement that will enhance trade and investment among the TPP partner countries, promote innovation, economic growth and development, and support the creation and retention of jobs.

See statements below.

Business Roundtable

Emergency Committee for American Trade

Rep. Rick Larsen, WA-2


November 12, 2011

On November 12, 2011, the Leaders of the nine Trans-Pacific Partnership countries – Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Chile, Malaysia, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, Vietnam, and the United States – announced the achievement of the broad outlines of an ambitious, 21st-century Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement that will enhance trade and investment among the TPP partner countries, promote innovation, economic growth and development, and support the creation and retention of jobs. 

To learn more about TPP, visit USTR's TPP page.


November 11, 2011

Remarks by Ambassador Ron Kirk at the 2011 APEC Trade Ministers Press Conference

Ambassador Kirk made a statement at the press conference of APEC trade ministers.  Read the statement here.

Trade with the Asia-Pacific Region Benefits Pennsylvania’s Businesses and Workers
11/11/2011 - 8:07pm

In a world where 95 percent of consumers reside outside our borders, APEC comprises 40 percent of the global population. The Asia-Pacific region offers tremendous opportunities for U.S. exporters. The Asia-Pacific region is the largest market in the world for U.S. exports and receives over 70 percent of U.S. agricultural exports. Many of these dynamic economies are growing faster than the world average and together generate 56 percent of global GDP in 2010.

Pennsylvania’s goods exports in 2010 totaled $35 billion. Of Pennsylvania’s total exports, $21 billion, or 61 percent, went to markets in the Asia-Pacific region. The top three product categories to APEC member economies exported in 2010 were Chemical, Machinery, and Primary Metal Manufactures.

Pennsylvania Exported $21 Billion in Goods to Asia-Pacific Countries in 2010:

 Pennsylvania Exports Graph

Goods Exports Support Jobs for Pennsylvania Workers: Jobs supported by Pennsylvania’s goods exports are estimated to be 271,000 in 2008 (latest data available). Over one-sixth (17.4 percent) of all manufacturing workers in Pennsylvania depend on manufacturing exports for their jobs in 2009 (latest data available). Although not measured, there are also additional jobs supported by Pennsylvania’s exports of services.

A total of 13,139 companies exported goods from Pennsylvania in 2008. Of those, 11,720 (89 percent) were small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), with fewer than 500 employees.

Small and medium-sized firms generated one-third (34 percent) of Pennsylvania’s total exports of merchandise in 2008. Notably, small and medium-sized firms benefit from the tariff-elimination provisions of free trade agreements. The transparency obligations, particularly those in the customs chapters, are vital to small and medium-sized firms, which may not have the resources to navigate customs and regulatory red tape.

APEC Business Spotlight: Sopogy is APEC Honolulu technology showcase winner, exporter to the Asia Pacific Region
11/11/2011 - 5:29pm

This year, Sopogy was the APEC Honolulu technology showcase winner in recognition of Sopogy’s success in revolutionizing solar and thermal technology using MicroCSP systems.

Sopogy manufactures concentrating solar thermal technologies, or MicroCSP systems, which use mirrors to intensify solar heat. The heat generated by these mirrors is used to create process heat, solar air conditioning, or electrical power. A relatively new technology, Sopogy’s MicroCSP systems have cut the cost of solar thermal energy systems to a fraction of the cost.

Much of Sopogy’s business comes from international markets with around 80 percent of their exports going to markets in the Asia-Pacific region including Mexico, Japan, Singapore, the Philippines, Thailand, Papua New Guinea, and China. Currently, Sopogy regularly faces trade barriers in the Asia-Pacific region that affects their competitiveness.

One of the priority goals of the United States over the past year as APEC host has been to reduce trade barriers in order to create a seamless Asia-Pacific regional economy. In support of this goal, this week at the APEC Ministerial and Leaders’ Meetings in Honolulu, USTR is working with our APEC partners to try to reduce trade barriers in the Asia-Pacific region. Lowered barriers would allow companies like Sopogy to compete in foreign markets without high tariffs and other non-tariff trade barriers affecting their competitiveness.

With an increased ability to compete in foreign markets, Sopogy would be able to expand their business and support Hawaiian jobs.

“Since much of our business is international, we need the support of trade in our business. This enables us to continue to grow our business in the U.S. promoting new job creation,” said President and CEO of Sopogy Darren T. Kimura.

For more information on APEC, visit USTR’s APEC2011 page.

Opening Statement by Ambassador Ron Kirk at the 2011 APEC Ministerial Meeting 

Ambassador Kirk co-hosted the 2011 APEC Ministerial meeting this morning.  Read his opening remarks here.


November 10, 2011

Ambassador Kirk Hosts Bilateral Meetings at APEC Honolulu
11/10/2011 11:28 PM

Today, Ambassador Kirk held various bilateral meetings during the APEC Ministerial and Economic Leaders’ meeting. See pictures below.

Ambassador Kirk and Chinese Minister Chen
Ambassador Kirk and Chinese Minister Chen

Ambassador Kirk and Indonesian Minister Wirjawan
Ambassador Kirk and Indonesian Minister Wirjawan

Ambassador Kirk and Singaporean Minister Lim
Ambassador Kirk and Singaporean Minister Lim

Ambassador Kirk and Japanese Minister Gemba
Ambassador Kirk and Japanese Minister Gemba

Meeting of Trans-Pacific Partnership ministers on the margins of APEC Honolulu
11/10/2011 10:01 PM

Ministers from the nine Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) countries met today in Honolulu, Hawaii on the margins of the 2011 Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Economic and Leaders’ Meeting. This was the ministers’ last meeting before TPP leaders convene this weekend to assess progress in the TPP talks. Countries are seeking a high-standard, ambitious, 21st-century trade pact in the Trans-Pacific Partnership, and set the goal of reaching the broad outlines of an agreement by this week’s APEC meeting.

USTR Host TPP Meeting at APEC Honolulu
USTR Hosts TPP Meeting on Margins of APEC Honolulu

USTR Host TPP Meeting at APEC Honolulu
Ambassadors Kirk and Marantis at the TPP Meeting on Margins of APEC Honolulu

Trade with the Asia-Pacific Region Benefits Ohio's Businesses and Workers
11/10/2011 7:32 PM

In a world where 95 percent of consumers reside outside our borders, APEC comprises 40 percent of the global population. The Asia-Pacific region offers tremendous opportunities for U.S. exporters. The Asia-Pacific region is the largest market in the world for U.S. exports and receives over 70 percent of U.S. agricultural exports. Many of these dynamic economies are growing faster than the world average and together generate 56 percent of global GDP in 2010.

Today, USTR.gov is showcasing the importance of trade with the Asia-Pacific Region for Ohio’s businesses and workers.

Ohio’s goods exports in 2010 totaled $41 billion. Of Ohio’s total exports, $28 billion, or 68 percent, went to markets in the Asia-Pacific region. The top three product categories to APEC member economies exported in 2010 were transportation equipment, chemical manufactures, and machinery manufactures.

Ohio Exported $28 Billion in Goods to Asia-Pacific Countries in 2010:

Ohio Exports Graph

Goods Exports Support Jobs for Ohio Workers: Jobs supported by Ohio’s goods exports are estimated to be 371,000 (2008 data are the latest available). Over one-quarter (26.9 percent) of all manufacturing workers in Ohio depend on manufacturing exports for their jobs (2009 data are the latest available). Although not measured, there are also additional jobs supported by Ohio’s exports of services.

A total of 13,092 companies exported goods from Ohio locations in 2008. Of those, 11,678 (89 percent) were small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), with fewer than 500 employees.

Small and medium-sized firms generated more than one-fourth (24 percent) of Ohio’s total exports of merchandise in 2008. Notably, small and medium-sized firms benefit from the tariff-elimination provisions of free trade agreements. The transparency obligations, particularly those in the customs chapters, are vital to small and medium-sized firms, which may not have the resources to navigate customs and regulatory red tape. 

APEC Business Spotlight: Hawaiian Isles Kona Coffee Company exports to the Asia-Pacific region
11/10/2011 4:19 PM

Hawaiian Isles Kona Coffee Company provides Hawaiian-grown coffee and bottled water. The Hawaiian Isles Water and Kona Coffee brands are some of only a few Hawaii-inspired coffee and water products made entirely by local workers in Hawaii.

Hawaiian Isles currently exports roughly 8,000 cases of coffee and 35,000 cases of water to international markets every year with over 80 percent of that making it to markets in the Asia-Pacific region including Japan, South Korea, China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Canada. Although this currently only represents a small percentage of their overall business, Hawaiian Isles has been looking for ways to expand their exports to allow them to grow their business and support Hawaiian jobs.

Currently, trade barriers in the Asia-Pacific region raise the cost of many Hawaiian Isles’ export products.

At APEC, USTR is working with our Asia-Pacific trading partners to address trade barriers and help companies like Hawaiian Isles compete on a level playing field.

“The opportunity to compete in other markets would provide a healthy growth in our sales and help us toward our vision of being a world leader in Hawaiian-based products,” said Glenn Boulware, Director of Business Development and Strategic Planning for Hawaiian Isles Kona Coffee Company.

With increased trade, Hawaiian Isles would be able to expand their business in the United States. The company relies heavily on U.S. workers for the manufacturing and distribution of their agricultural and natural products. An expansion in trade will therefore increase demand for both manufacturing equipment and employees, as well as production for their agricultural and natural products.

“This upgrade and expansion of our capabilities will mean the creation of additional jobs and even new jobs to meet the new demands of entering into new markets,” Boulware said.


November 9, 2011

Trade with the Asia-Pacific Region Benefits New York's Businesses and Workers
11/09/2011 9:55 PM

In a world where 95 percent of consumers reside outside our borders, APEC comprises 40 percent of the global population. The Asia-Pacific region offers tremendous opportunities for U.S. exporters. The Asia-Pacific region is the largest market in the world for U.S. exports and receives over 70 percent of U.S. agricultural exports. Many of these dynamic economies are growing faster than the world average and together generate 56 percent of global GDP in 2010.

Today, USTR.gov is showcasing the importance of trade with the Asia-Pacific Region for New York's businesses and workers.

New York’s goods exports in 2010 totaled $70 billion. Of New York’s total exports, $34 billion, or 49 percent, went to markets in the Asia-Pacific region. The top three product categories to APEC member economies exported in 2010 were miscellaneous products, machinery, and computer and electronic products.

New York Exported $34 Billion in Goods to Asia-Pacific Countries in 2010:

 New York Exports Graph

Goods Exports Support Jobs for New York Workers: Jobs supported by New York’s goods exports are estimated to be 293,000 (2008 data are the latest available). Over one-fifth (21.4 percent) of all manufacturing workers in New York depend on manufacturing exports for their jobs (2009 data are the latest available). Although not measured, there are also additional jobs supported by New York’s exports of services.

A total of 28,930 companies exported goods from New York locations in 2008. Of those, 27,265 (94 percent) were small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), with fewer than 500 employees.

Small and medium-sized firms generated more than half (55 percent) of New York’s total exports of merchandise in 2008. Notably, small and medium-sized firms benefit from the tariff-elimination provisions of free trade agreements. The transparency obligations, particularly those in the customs chapters, are vital to small and medium-sized firms, which may not have the resources to navigate customs and regulatory red tape.

"Addressing Trade Barriers in the Asia-Pacific Region and Supporting American Jobs Through Exports"
11/09/2011 8:43 PM

Today, Ambassador Kirk penned a guest blog post for WhiteHouse.gov regarding this week's APEC meeting. Read all about it below.  

Addressing Trade Barriers in the Asia-Pacific Region and Supporting American Jobs Through Exports
Posted by Ron Kirk on November 09, 2011 at 05:02 PM EST

This week, the United States is hosting the annual Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Ministers and Economic Leaders’ Meetings in Honolulu, Hawaii. As President Obama’s lead negotiator and spokesperson on trade, I will host a meeting for my fellow APEC Trade Ministers in preparation for President Obama’s meeting with APEC Leaders later this week and to build on the success of the APEC Trade Ministers’ meeting held in Big Sky, Montana last May.

At Big Sky, the United States and its APEC trade partners identified ways to improve regulation and transparency, made advances on reducing trade barriers impacting environmental goods and services, and determined specific next-generation issues on ensuring how trade rules can reflect the realities of the region today. Tomorrow in Honolulu, my fellow Ministers and I will address key hindrances to trade for businesses across the Asia-Pacific in order to achieve these important goals. By making it easier for all our exporters to enter markets in APEC economies, we are helping businesses grow exponentially. This dynamic growth leads to further job creation across the region, including in the U.S. – an important component to President Obama’s economic policy.

One priority goal the United States has pursued this year is making the Asia-Pacific a seamless regional economy. In support of that goal, this week, we will ask our APEC trade partners to reduce barriers to trade for environmental goods and services, promote innovation policies that encourage competition and open markets, and improve their regulatory systems. Value-added improvements in these areas will make it easier for American businesses to export to the Asia-Pacific region, supporting the creation of much-needed American jobs.

While in Honolulu, we are also seeking solid progress with the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement, which is a 21st-century agreement that tackles pressing trade concerns in new ways, addresses cross-cutting issues previously unaddressed in trade agreements, and benefits from an unprecedented level of stakeholder input. While APEC is a voluntary, cooperative forum where we can collectively tackle critical trade and investment topics in the Asia-Pacific, TPP parties are negotiating binding commitments and obligations which reflect our highest ambitions.

In considering trade in the 21st-century, TPP parties are discussing comprehensive issues like building regional production, promoting development, and facilitating the participation of small- and medium-sized businesses in global trade. By eliminating traditional barriers that prevent smaller businesses from entering the world marketplace, we are opening pathways for these enterprises to expand and grow through trade. If even just a few more businesses out of every hundred in America export, we will see a dramatic increase in jobs here in the United States.

This weekend, President Obama, in hosting meetings with his fellow APEC Leaders, will attempt to achieve these trade goals and grow American jobs through increasing export opportunities in the Asia-Pacific region.

During the meetings, USTR.gov will be updated in real time to keep you fully abreast of our work. Be sure to visit our APEC 2011 page and follow us on Twitter to get the most up-to-date information on the progress of APEC meetings in Hawaii.

Ron Kirk is the U.S. Trade Representative


November 7, 2011

Weekly Trade Spotlight: APEC Export Destinations for American Goods
11/07/2011 - 5:44pm

This week, Ambassador Kirk will travel to Honolulu, Hawaii to participate in the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Ministers' and Economic Leaders’ Meetings. USTR.gov is highlighting the importance of trade within the Asia-Pacific region for America’s businesses and workers.

Since President Obama signed trade agreements with Korea, Colombia, and Panama into law, there has been increased awareness in our country about the importance and potential of international trade to support jobs here at home. Leaders around the world are looking toward trade as a path to economic growth and better jobs. The Asia-Pacific region is one that promises many benefits to the United States as we sell more made-in-America products abroad.

Home to more than 40 percent of the world’s population, Asia-Pacific nations have been working toward the goal of economic collaboration through a forum known as the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation or APEC. This week, leaders from APEC’s 21 member economies will meet in Honolulu, Hawaii under chairmanship of the United States to discuss strengthening regional economic integration and trade expansion. United States Trade Representative Ron Kirk, as well as Deputy U.S. Trade Representatives Demetrios Marantis and Michael Punke, will be there to advance ideas and policies that will help put more Americans back to work.

America’s top four country export markets are APEC member economies. Trade with these nations is important for America’s businesses to succeed in an ever increasingly globalized community.

The top two APEC export markets are our northern and southern neighbors, Canada and Mexico. Canada was the United States’ largest goods export market in 2010 with exports valued at more than $249 billion. Mexico comes in second with more than $163 billion in goods exports. China was the United States’ third largest goods export market in 2010, and goods exports to China were up at least 32 percent in 2010.

Two additional top export destinations are Japan and Korea. Top exports to Japan and Korea in 2010 include optic and medical equipment, electrical machinery, machinery, and aircraft. Agricultural products like coarse grains, red meats, and wheat were also important exports.

Trade leaders are looking for progress at the APEC Ministers' and Economic Leaders’ Meetings this week. Greater cooperation amongst the 21 member economies will translate into magnified benefits including increased U.S. export markets and additional opportunities for American businesses, manufactures, farmers, and service providers.


2011 APEC MRT Family Photo
2011 APEC MRT Family Photo


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  • May 20, 2011

    VIDEO: APEC 2011 MRT Press Conference
    May 20, 2011 6:29 PM

    Ambassador Kirk hosted the APEC 2011 MRT press confernece earlier today. Watch the video below.


    APEC Business Spotlight: Kamut Wheat to the Asia-Pacific Region
    05/20/2011 5:02 PM

    Kamut International was founded by farmers Bob Quinn and Mack Quinn in 1990 with a dream to provide high quality organic food by selling a unique, ancient breed of wheat called khorasan. Although generic khorasan wheat is grown throughout the world, Kamut’s Montana-grown wheat guarantees certain qualities such as being organically grown, not hybridized or genetically modified, and having high nutritional values. The family-owned company has enjoyed a lot of success from selling khorasan which is known for the guarantee of organic production and preservation of the original seed.

    Kamut knows that exporting can be a key ingredient to success in today’s global economy. Global consumer demand for higher quality, organic food is a huge driver in the company’s success and continued growth. In 2010 alone, Kamut’s global wheat sales grew by 39 percent. Kamut’s wheat became popular in the European market where Italians especially love it for homemade pasta. Today, the company exports to six continents throughout the world including the Asia-Pacific region. The company also partners with businesses who directly sell KAMUT grain to their domestic markets or in the form of processed foods.

    Although demand for Kamut’s unique wheat is strongest in Europe, the Asia-Pacific region is becoming a highly lucrative growth opportunity. As purchasing power increases in these consumer markets, so does demand for better food. Currently, the company exports to APEC member economies Australia, New Zealand, and Japan, and is developing relationships with new partners in Taiwan and South Korea. These new partners are interested in selling products made from the unique Montana-grown wheat.

    “We are optimistic about the potential for growth of interest in KAMUT® brand khorasan wheat in the Asia-Pacific region,” shares CEO Trevor Blyth. “We are looking forward to growing our business in this market and to supporting greater exports of organic wheat from Montana.”

    More demand for Kamut khorasan wheat from around the world directly supports Montana farms and jobs. Not only would Kamut International’s agricultural partners be able to support more farming jobs, the company’s expansion would also lead to the creation of jobs in customer service, marketing, and trade protection efforts to support its international partners.

    USTR is working in APEC on behalf of companies like Kamut to reduce trade barriers in the Asia-Pacific region and create more American jobs.


    Statement of Ambassador Ron Kirk at the Press Conference of APEC Ministers Responsible for Trade
    05/20/2011 3:40 PM

    Ambassador Kirk made a statement at the press conference of APEC Ministers Responsible for Trade.  Read the statement here.


    Trade with the Asia-Pacific Region Benefits Illinois’s Businesses and Workers
    05/20/2011 11:20 AM

    The Asia-Pacific region offers tremendous opportunities for U.S. exporters. In a world where 95 percent of consumers reside outside our borders, APEC comprises 40 percent of the global population. Many of these dynamic economies are growing faster than the world average and together generate 56 percent of global GDP in 2010. The Asia-Pacific region is the largest market in the world for U.S. exports and receives over 70 percent of U.S. agricultural exports.

    Today, USTR.gov is showcasing the importance of trade with the Asia-Pacific Region for Illinois’s businesses and workers.

    Illinois’s goods exports in 2010 totaled nearly $50 billion. Of Illinois’s total exports, $33 billion, or 67 percent, went to markets in the Asia-Pacific region. The top three product categories to APEC member economies exported in 2010 were machinery, transportation equipment, and chemicals.

    Goods Exports Support Jobs for Illinois Workers: Jobs supported by Illinois’s goods exports are estimated to be 360,200. One-quarter (24.7 percent) of all manufacturing workers in Illinois depend on exports for their jobs, the ninth highest share among all 50 states. Although not measured, there are also additional jobs supported by Illinois’s exports of services (2008 data are the latest available).

    A total of 16,902 companies exported goods from Illinois in 2008. Of those, 15,170 (90 percent) were small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), with fewer than 500 employees.

    Small and medium-sized firms generated 22 percent of Illinois’s total exports of merchandise in 2008. Notably, small and medium-sized firms benefit from the tariff-elimination provisions of free trade agreements. The transparency obligations, particularly those in the customs chapters, are vital to small and medium-sized firms, which may not have the resources to navigate customs and regulatory red tape.


    May 19, 2011

    VIDEO: Ambassador Kirk Makes Opening Statement at APEC 2011 MRT Session
    05/19/2011 - 5:42pm

    Ambassador Kirk made opening remarks this morning at the APEC 2011 Ministers Related to Trade session.  Watch his remarks below.


    APEC CEO Discussion: TicketRiver.com
    05/19/2011 4:19 PM

    As part of USTR.gov’s APEC 2011 outreach, USTR.gov spoke to American business leaders about their companies, the importance of international trade, and how trade within the Asia-Pacific region can help their organizations grow. Today’s CEO discussion is with CEO of TicketRiver, Lance Trebesch.

    TicketRiver.com Benefits from Increased International Trade

    “Our competitive advantage is in the very quality of our software that runs the entire e-commerce website and order e-management system. This software is the heart of our company’s intellectual property and offering – in this case, our website. The value of this offering is what the customer sees, which includes our huge inventory of online templates. Our website is popular due to the e-commerce market demand for simple, easy-to-use web interfaces.

    “Increased international trade provides more market access and opportunities for our company to engage in market expansion, which diversifies our revenue streams and contribute to company growth right here in Montana.

    “When we launched Ticket River Australia 18 months ago, we were excited to see just how successful our business can be in international markets. Essentially, we just leveraged our existing U.S. digital assets – e-commerce code, online template, e-commerce management system – and planted that in Australia. Expanding into Australia has allowed us to create a brand new revenue stream and business, and now we have well over 1,000 customer in the Australian market.

    “Our experience expanding our business into Australia and our proven success with an international customer base is driving our expansion plans into the Asia-Pacific region.

    “In markets like Australia, we’ve effectively addressed this market of consumers largely unfamiliar with e-commerce as a medium for transactions usually obtained through brick-and-mortar service providers. When we enter a new market like Australia, our success is attributed to a very competitive offering, because of the e-ecommerce experience the customer enjoys and the quality of product they receive.

    "Our intellectual property is the basis for our high quality products that we offer in our markets in the U.S. and Australia. That is why we are strong advocates of intellectually property protection and enforcement to protect our assets and keep our company competitive, especially when we enter new international markets where U.S. laws no longer have jurisdiction to protect American companies. These protections are important to us are and protect how we can deliver our competitive e-commerce experience. Business and trade friendly regulatory structures also enable TicketRiver.com to set up business in new markets faster and thus generate faster returns on our investments.”

    TicketRiver is Looking for Increased Market Access Abroad

    “Before we launched the Ticket River Australia site, overseas customers had to order in the U.S. and have it shipped to them. Once we launched our business in Australia, we had many customers write to us to express their joy that we’ve made their lives easier.

    “One customer wrote, ‘We are so happy you expanded to Australia! We have nothing like this in our country. Your site and the ease of use of the template and your product quality are just so excellent.’

    “We are proud to have delivered ticket printing and ordering in a different way for Australians and introduced them to the a new e-commerce experience in printing. We are an example of a U.S. company that has really benefited from access to markets in the Asia-Pacific region because it has allowed us to capture the opportunity to introduce a new kind of product and build a sustainable market demand for our innovation.”

    The Asia-Pacific Region is a Potential Growth Market for TicketRiver.com

    “Our goal is to expand to all Asia-Pacific markets one day. More market access and intellectual property protection, greater ease of market entry, and stronger regulatory business environments makes our company more agile and able to expand our operations here at home.”

    “By expanding into new markets, we create new jobs here in the U.S. When we build new revenue streams from new markets like the United Kingdom and Australia, we need more manpower to support the flood of new customers and first-time transactions. This adds jobs to our customer support team in the U.S. which helps our U.K. and Australian fulfillment providers and customers in those markets.

    “Expanding into new markets also requires us to constantly improve and customize our software, which creates software development jobs here in the U.S.

    USTR is working hard this week to create new opportunities for U.S. exporters like TicketRiverin the Asia-Pacific Region. Be sure to follow our progress here on USTR.gov. 


    APEC Business Spotlight: Teltronics Sells Communications Products to the Asia-Pacific Region
    05/19/2011 12:20 PM

    Today is day four of USTR.gov’s profiles of American businesses that can benefit from the work of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum.

    Teltronics, Inc. is a technology manufacturer specializing in communications, alarms management and contract manufacturing. This company provides innovative solutions to enhance the performance of communications and data networks. This enables its customers to increase their revenues, decrease costs, and improve productivity.

    Since Teltronics began exporting their communications and alarms management products from their corporate headquarters and state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Palmetto, Florida, they have placed products in 68 countries throughout the world, including several in the Asia-Pacific region.

    Teltronics provides communications equipment to governments such as Brunei Darussalam, the Navy; Army; and other organizations in Chile, hospitals in Singapore and the metro in Taipei. They have exported their alarms management products to South Korea and Okinawa, Japan for the U.S. military. While about 10 percent (and growing) of Teltronics customers are abroad, the company maintains all of their manufacturing within U.S. borders.

    “While serving companies worldwide, Teltronics continues to maintain most of our manufacturing in the US , which contributes to the stability of the local economy,” says Ewen Cameron, CEO of Teltronics. “We have invested in facilities that will allow us to expand manufacturing for our existing product lines and accommodate an increase in our contract manufacturing services business.”

    Business in countries of the Asia-Pacific region currently account for about 5 percent of Teltronics’ total sales. Senior Vice President of International Sales Richard Begando anticipates these numbers to increase as Teltronics continues to expand their communications product lines to include IP-based paging, intercom, and mass notification.

    “The Asia-Pacific Region holds four times more business opportunity than any other region in the world for certain Teltronics products. This is where the growth is. It’s where new businesses are sprouting up and existing businesses from around the world are moving too. Many of them need communications equipment,” said Mr. Begando. “Teltronics customers, as well as the clients in our target markets, are willing to pay a premium over our competitors for the features and capabilities our products offer.”

    While the demand for Teltronics’ products in the Asia-Pacific are growing at a fast pace, the company is not able to capture its full business potential in the region because of trade barriers. USTR is working to reduce trade barriers within the APEC region so that businesses can compete on a level playing field.

    As Teltronics increases sales to the Asia-Pacific region, the company may need to hire more people to support the increased demand for its technology and manufacturing. Increased demands for its products will lead to the creation and support of well-paying American jobs throughout the company’s supply chain, benefiting communities and workers across the country.


    Trade with the Asia-Pacific Region Benefits Michigan’s Businesses and Workers
    05/19/2011 10:27 AM

    The Asia-Pacific region offers tremendous opportunities for U.S. exporters. In a world where 95 percent of consumers reside outside our borders, APEC comprises 40 percent of the global population. Many of these dynamic economies are growing faster than the world average and together generate 56 percent of global GDP in 2010. The Asia-Pacific region is the largest market in the world for U.S. exports and receives over 70 percent of U.S. agricultural exports.

    Today, USTR.gov is showcasing the importance of trade with the Asia-Pacific Region for Michigan’s businesses and workers.

    Michigan’s goods exports in 2010 totaled $44.5 billion. Of Michigan’s total exports, $35 billion, or 79 percent, went to markets in the Asia-Pacific region. The top three product categories to APEC member economies exported in 2010 were transportation equipment, machinery, and chemicals.

    Jobs supported by Michigan’s goods exports are estimated to be 269,900. More than one-quarter (27.8 percent) of all manufacturing workers in Michigan depend on exports for their jobs, the fifth highest among the 50 states. Although not measured, there are also additional jobs supported by Michigan’s exports of services (2008 data are the latest available).

    A total of 11,796 companies exported goods from Michigan locations in 2008. Of those, 10,651 (90 percent) were small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), with fewer than 500 employees.

    Small and medium-sized firms generated 13 percent of Michigan’s total exports of merchandise in 2008. Notably, small and medium-sized firms benefit from the tariff-elimination provisions of free trade agreements. The transparency obligations, particularly those in the customs chapters, are vital to small and medium-sized firms, which may not have the resources to navigate customs and regulatory red tape.


    May 18, 2011

    VIDEO: West Paw Design Exports to the Asia-Pacific Region
    05/18/2011 6:26 PM

    As part of USTR.gov’s APEC 2011 outreach, USTR spoke to local business leaders about their companies, the importance of international trade, and how trade within the Asia-Pacific region can help their organizations grow. Today, USTR.gov talked with Spencer Williams, CEO of West Paw Design about how exporting to APEC member economies can help grow his businesses and support jobs in Montana. Watch the video below.  


    APEC Business Spotlight: King Arthur's Sells Specialized Tools to the Asia-Pacific Region
    05/18/2011 2:10 PM

    Today is day three of USTR.gov’s profiles of American businesses that can benefit from the work of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum.

    King Arthur’s Tools is a small, family-owned business that packs a big punch. Based in Tallahassee, Florida, King Arthur’s team of innovators design and export specialized chain saws and other tools.

    King Arthur’s Tools provides convenience and efficiency for other businesses, supporting numerous niche markets. These markets include wood working, wood carving, wood turning, taxidermy, equine and boviine hoof trimming, musical instrument-making, log homes, remodeling homes, and the construction industry. CEO and President Arthur Aveling even invented the world’s smallest miniature chainsaw (2” diameter) to trim a horse’s hoof. This product took the equine and hoof trimming industry into the 21st century and increased King Arthur’s Tool’s market share by 400 percent.

    Exporting since 1992, King Arthur’s Tools now sells its products in 53 countries and partners with distributors in 17 countries. King Arthur also partners with other U.S. manufacturers that provide supporting components. These products are shipped to King Arthur’s facilities for assembly, packaging and distribution throughout the world right from the capital of the Sunshine State.  

    King Arthur’s Tools is enjoying enormous and rapid success overseas with these niche markets. One area of the world that is helping to drive King Arthur’s growth is the Asia-Pacific region. King Arthur’s Tools currently export to almost all the member economies in the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC): Australia, New Zealand, Japan, South Korea, Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, Philippines, Canada, Chile, China, Taiwan, Peru, and Russia. These countries represent 20 to 30 percent of the company’s total export markets. The company’s CEO is a big advocate for lowering tariffs and reducing trade barriers.

    “We are on the cutting edge of products that could better serve numerous markets if barriers were lowered, and it would add local jobs to the local economy of Tallahassee as well as the manufacturing plants we work with in the USA. King Arthur’s Tools is a rapidly growing company and we are justifiably proud that our products are Made in the USA,” says Mr. Aveling.

    Mr. Aveling says an enhanced economic relationship between the economies of this region and the U.S. would provide a better business environment for American innovators to better serve its customers and increase exports.

    “If the trade barriers were lowered we would do more business in the Asia-Pacific arena. In certain cases, we’ve had the products returned because excessive customs duties have been levied on the products when they get to the point of entry. Then we’ve had to go through many time-consuming obstacles to finally get the product to our customers. On occasion, we’ve lost business through this process. Lowering tariffs and custom duties would be of tremendous assistance to expanding our export markets, no question about that.”

    Today, King Arthur’s team consists of only 14 employees, but Mr. Aveling says that the company’s sales have also created employment in supporting industries based in the United States. King Arthur’s Tools is looking forward to a stronger trade relationship between the United States and APEC member economies. Increased market access and ease of entry into markets across the Asia-Pacific region can lead to expansion of its operations in Tallahassee and hire more workers in the community.


    Trade with the Asia-Pacific Region Benefits Washington's Businesses and Workers
    05/18/2011 1:03 PM

    The Asia-Pacific region offers tremendous opportunities for U.S. exporters. In a world where 95 percent of consumers reside outside our borders, APEC comprises 40 percent of the global population. Many of these dynamic economies are growing faster than the world average and together generate 56 percent of global GDP in 2010. The Asia-Pacific region is the largest market in the world for U.S. exports and receives over 70 percent of U.S. agricultural exports.

    Washington’s goods exports in 2010 totaled $53 billion. Of Washington’s total exports, $37 billion, or 69 percent, went to markets in the Asia-Pacific region. The top three product categories to APEC member economies exported in 2010 were transportation equipment, agriculture products, and food manufactures. Washington Exported $36.8 Billion in Goods to Asia-Pacific Countries in 2010.

    Jobs supported by Washington’s goods exports are estimated to be 258,300. More than two-fifths (41.4 percent) of all manufacturing workers in Washington depend on exports for their jobs, the highest share among all 50 states. Although not measured, there are also additional jobs supported by Washington’s exports of services (2008 data are the latest available).

    A total of 8,480 companies exported goods from Washington locations in 2008. Of those, 7,627 (90 percent) were small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), with fewer than 500 employees.

    Small and medium-sized firms generated nearly one-fifth (19 percent) of Washington’s total exports of merchandise in 2008. Notably, small and medium-sized firms benefit from the tariff-elimination provisions of free trade agreements. The transparency obligations, particularly those in the customs chapters, are vital to small and medium-sized firms, which may not have the resources to navigate customs and regulatory red tape.


    USTR and FDA Welcome Collaboration by APEC and the World Bank to Enhance Food Safety and Facilitate Food Trade
    05/18/2011 12:17pm

    Big Sky, MT - At the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum meetings being held this week in Big Sky, Montana, Deputy U.S. Trade Representative Demetrios Marantis and Commissioner of Food and Drugs Margaret A. Hamburg, M.D., welcomed the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between the APEC Food Safety Cooperation Forum and the World Bank to collaborate on food safety training programs designed to enhance food safety and to facilitate trade throughout the Asia Pacific region.  

    APEC Food Safety MOU Signing Event 

    These programs will enable more growers, more producers, and more food safety officials to understand and utilize preventive controls – resulting in safer food for consumers, and fewer safety incidents in food trade.

    Read the full release here and watch video of the session here.


    May 17, 2011

    APEC Business Spotlight: Alltech Provides Health and Nutrition Solutions to the Asia-Pacific Region
    05/17/2011 6:24 PM

    Today is day two of USTR.gov’s profiles of American businesses that can benefit from the work of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum.

    Alltech, Inc., is a leading innovator in the animal health and nutrition industry, based in Nicholasville, Kentucky. The company is ranked seventh among global animal health companies and is the only privately-held company in the top ten list. Alltech engineers natural scientific solutions to deal with animal health and nutrition industry challenges across all animal species. Alltech is best known for pioneering breakthrough natural yeast fermentation and enzyme technologies.

    Alltech has been growing at an average annual rate of 20 to 25 percent, and attributes its business overseas to be essential to its success. Alltech’s sales expanded after entering the Chinese market in 1995, and the company has since been well aware that its growth opportunities are in the Asia-Pacific region. The growth of the Asia-Pacific region has created demands in key industries that are aligned with the core of Alltech’s business. Today, Alltech supports over 600 U.S. jobs in eight production facilities across the country.

    Greater economic relationships between the U.S. and the APEC member economies can help U.S. biotechnology companies like Alltech meet the rising demand for its expertise and export its innovative solutions and products to consumers in the region.

    “Without a doubt, given the size of its population, demographics, rising income levels and the affinity and desire for meat consumption, the Asia-Pacific region offers the greatest opportunity for Alltech. Rising affluence in growing proportions of the population is driving food production and consumption,” says Vice President Steve Bourne. “Our products and services can address the increasing demand for high standards in food safety by improving the performance and profitability of livestock production, which ensures economic viability and sustainability.”

    As much as Alltech’s technology and expertise could help the booming agricultural industries of the increasingly dynamic Asia-Pacific economies, trade barriers can prevent the company from competing on a level playing field. Alltech is currently charged import duties in the region up to 35 percent.

    "These high tariffs can lead to a significant disadvantage in pricing compared to our local competitors in the marketplace and hence the ability of our product to improve performance and profitability for the country’s own livestock industry,” explains Mr. Bourne. "Lowering tariffs in the Asia-Pacific markets on U.S.-imported goods would enable Alltech to be more financially able to continue producing its goods in the U.S. and supporting U.S. jobs.”

    Increased market access and friendlier regulatory environments would increase Alltech’s ability to expand into more markets in the Asia-Pacific, impacting company growth and overall viability to be able to increase its employment in the U.S. As the company grows, it could lead Alltech to need more people in research, development, and production. The expansion in Alltech’s operations would also increase employment opportunities in supporting industries in the services sector such as technical support and consulting.

    For companies like Alltech, USTR is working in APEC to create better business environments and address barriers to trade and investment across the region.


    APEC CEO Discussion: Spika Welding
    05/17/2011 1:16 PM

    As part of USTR.gov’s APEC 2011 outreach, USTR.gov spoke to American business leaders about their companies, the importance of international trade, and how trade within the Asia-Pacific region can help their organizations grow. Today’s CEO discussion is with President and CEO of Spika Welding, Tom Spika.

    Spika Welding Benefits from Increased International Trade

    “Spika has become recognized as an industry leader in the field of specialized work platforms, primarily focusing on aviation maintenance support. Our products have proven their value in aviation maintenance facilities within every branch of the United States military, as well as throughout various commercial industries. We have now begun investigating and pursuing opportunities in the global marketplace, and are finding a strong need and desire for the unique equipment we offer.

    “Our company is small, with less than 30 employees, and is situated in rural Montana. Primarily dependent on agriculture, Lewistown, with a population of 7,000, benefits considerably from small non- agricultural industries such as ours to diversify and strengthen its economy. With $3-4 million in annual sales, Spika's contribution of ‘outside money’ to our local economy through wages, supplies, and capital investments is important to our community and our state. If we are able to secure sales from new and active markets outside of our country's borders, the growth and success of our company will translate into additional jobs and opportunities for our community.”

    Trade Barriers Can Negatively Impact Spika Welding

    “Our greatest obstacles to succeeding in bringing in these sales, however, are the cost of freighting large equipment across the ocean and the regulations, duties, and other trade barriers that add cost and complexity to the sale. While transportation costs will always add significantly to the customer's cost, there is opportunity to greatly reduce or eliminate these other costs of export through implementation of more open free trade agreements and elimination of restrictive regulations and taxation.”

    Spika Welding is Looking for Increased Market Access Abroad

    “Spika offers unique designs and products that continue to set new standards for OSHA-compliant work platforms. Our initial findings indicate that industries in many countries, primarily within the aviation community, have not even seen products such as we offer. This demonstrates a strong desire to incorporate them into their maintenance operations.

    We have already begun some initial marketing in Japan, with one $120,000 system installed there in 2011. We have established our first distributor in Tokyo who is actively marketing our products and was quite close to closing their first sales when the devastating earthquake struck, effectively tabling any anticipated sales indefinitely. While we expect sales to be stalled for the near term, we have high expectations as Japan begins to recover and rebuild.”

    The Asia-Pacific Region is a Potential Market for Spika Welding

    “While great opportunities for growth exist domestically for Spika, markets in numerous foreign countries such as Japan, South Korea, China, Brazil, Colombia, India, Russia, Israel, and others hold great potential for our company as well.

    "Initial estimates indicate our small company could realize annual sales exceeding $1 to $1.5 million from each of those listed; considerably more in some, just from the aviation market. If we were to pursue sales into other industries, such as mining, manufacturing, and transportation, as well as oil and gas – and those numbers could increase considerably.

    “It is evident that our company could grow significantly if we were to successfully develop these markets. Any reductions in restrictions and import/export duties to these countries will make our products more competitive and justifiable, translating into more opportunities for growth of our company and jobs for our community.”

    USTR is working hard this week to create new opportunities for U.S. exporters like Spika Welding in the Asia-Pacific Region. Be sure to follow our progress here and check back for another CEO discussion.


    Trade with the Asia-Pacific Region Benefits California’s Businesses and Workers
    05/17/2011 10:32 AM

    The Asia-Pacific region offers tremendous opportunities for U.S. exporters. In a world where 95 percent of consumers reside outside our borders, APEC comprises 40 percent of the global population. Many of these dynamic economies are growing faster than the world average and together generate 56 percent of global GDP in 2010. The Asia-Pacific region is the largest market in the world for U.S. exports and receives over 70 percent of U.S. agricultural exports.

    Today, USTR.gov is showcasing the importance of trade with the Asia-Pacific Region for California’s businesses and workers.

    California’s goods exports in 2010 totaled $143 billion. Of California’s total exports, $100 billion, or 70 percent, went to markets in the Asia-Pacific region. The top three product categories to APEC member economies exported in 2010 were computers and electronic products, machinery, and transportation equipment.

    Jobs supported by California’s goods exports are estimated to be 821,000 in 2008. Nearly one-quarter (23.7 percent) of all manufacturing workers in California depend on manufacturing exports for their jobs. Although not measured, there are also additional jobs supported by California’s exports of services (2008 data are the latest available).

    A total of 59,998 companies exported goods from California locations in 2008. Of those, 57,461 (96 percent) were small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), with fewer than 500 employees.

    Small and medium-sized firms generated more than two-fifths (44 percent) of California’s total exports of merchandise in 2008. Notably, small and medium-sized firms benefit from the tariff-elimination provisions of free trade agreements. The transparency obligations, particularly those in the customs chapters, are vital to small and medium-sized firms, which may not have the resources to navigate customs and regulatory red tape.



    May 16, 2011

    VIDEO: Trade Within the Asia-Pacific Benefits Powr-Grip
    05/16/2011 6:49 PM

    As part of USTR.gov’s APEC 2011 outreach, USTR spoke to local business leaders about their companies, the importance of international trade, and how trade within the Asia-Pacific region can help their organizations grow. Today, USTR.gov talked with Barry Wood, CEO of Powr-Grip about how exporting to APEC member economies can help grow his businesses and support jobs in Montana. Watch the video below.  


    APEC Business Spotlight: Formaspace sells Custom Furniture to the Asia-Pacific Region
    05/16/2011 - 4:40pm

    The work of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum is important to promote trade and investment in the Asia-Pacific region, and to improve economic cooperation in the region as well. Some APEC efforts include addressing non-tariff trade barriers to create a better business environment for companies like Formaspace to compete on a level playing field and reach more customers.

    Formaspace is a small company based in Austin, Texas that designs and manufactures custom technical furniture, accessories, and services for professional workplaces. The company opened in 1981 as a cabinet shop and has grown into an international manufacturer, employing more than 40 local workers.

    Today, Formaspace exports nearly 20 percent of their products abroad. Chief Executive Officer Jeff Turk has found that “’Made in the U.S.A.” is the world’s premier brand,” because many of Formaspace’s international customers are willing to pay a premium for its high-quality products.

    “Our products are 100% made in the USA. All our raw materials are supplied within the U.S. Our steel is made here. Our wood and pulp products are made here. Our plastics are made here. We are exporting our products, so whether the company making our steel knows it or not, everyone benefits from trade,” said Mr. Turk.

    However, trade barriers currently limit Formaspace’s opportunity to be more competitive abroad and expand its presence into additional international markets, including those in the highly lucrative and dynamic economies of the Asia-Pacific region, and the future success of Formaspace can really benefit from the opportunities in this region.

    “Formaspace has had several sales opportunities with large multinational companies where our furniture was acknowledged to be superior in design and construction, but due to tariffs and other barriers to trade in the country, our client had to select a local provider. These barriers represent a tax on global efficiency – somewhere in the world a guy is sitting at a less than ideal workbench because we couldn’t access his market efficiently,” said Mr. Turk

    The work APEC is doing can help businesses like Formaspace allows companies to sell more competitively in Taiwan, Hong Kong, China, and South Korea, and to be more prepared to expand. Mr. Turk also states that Formaspace’s decisions to invest in several markets in the Asia-Pacific region depends on factors like non-tariff barriers that affect the company’s ability to compete on a level playing field with local as well as other foreign competitors.

    Mr. Turk has big plans for Formaspace’s future. The company is on its way to generating almost $11 million in sales revenue with hopes to double revenue in three years. Greater economic cooperation and dialogue between the APEC member economies would lead to better business opportunities for U.S. companies to be more competitive in the region and more profitable overall. These opportunities would lead Formaspace into a more viable position in the future to invest in the expansion of operations in Austin and support more U.S. jobs.


    Trade with the Asia-Pacific Region Benefits Texas’s Businesses and Workers
    05/16/2011 - 3:13pm

    The Asia-Pacific region offers tremendous opportunities for U.S. exporters. In a world where 95 percent of consumers reside outside our borders, APEC comprises 40 percent of the global population. Many of these dynamic economies are growing faster than the world average and together generate 56 percent of global GDP in 2010. The Asia-Pacific region is the largest market in the world for U.S. exports and receives over 70 percent of U.S. agricultural exports.

    Today, USTR.gov is showcasing the importance of trade with the Asia-Pacific Region for Texas’s businesses and workers.

    Texas’s goods exports in 2010 totaled $207 billion, the largest figure of the 50 states. Of Texas’s total exports, $137 billion, or 66 percent, went to markets in the Asia-Pacific region. The top three product categories to APEC member economies exported in 2010 were computer and electronic products, chemicals, and machinery.

    Jobs supported by Texas’s goods exports are estimated to be 731,800. More than one-quarter (26.3 percent) of all manufacturing workers in Texas depend on exports for their jobs. Although not measured, there are also additional jobs supported by Texas’s exports of services (2008 data are the latest available).

    A total of 26,265 companies exported goods from Texas locations in 2008. Of those, 24,294 (92 percent) were small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), with fewer than 500 employees.

    Small and medium-sized firms generated nearly one-third (33 percent) of Texas’s total exports of merchandise in 2008. Notably, small and medium-sized firms benefit from the tariff-elimination provisions of free trade agreements. The transparency obligations, particularly those in the customs chapters, are vital to small and medium-sized firms, which may not have the resources to navigate customs and regulatory red tape.


    USTR Launches APEC 2011 Page
    05/16/2011 - 2:40pm

    APEC USA 2011 LogoExcitement is building here in Big Sky, Montana in the runup to the 2011 Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Trade Ministerial. More than 20 trade ministers from around the world are joining Ambassador Kirk to work on building a seamless regional economy in the Asia-Pacific region.

    The Asia-Pacific region presents major opportunities for American businesses to grow more jobs here at home by building on our Asia-Pacific trade, and the Obama Administration is working to enhance those opportunities through APEC. The Asia-Pacific region is the largest market in the world for U.S. exports, and receives more than 60 percent of U.S. goods and agricultural exports.

    Today, USTR.gov launched a dedicated APEC 2011 page - a one-stop shop for APEC 2011 updates. Throughout this week, USTR.gov will highlight top exporting states, spotlight small business exporters and their experiences in the Asia-Pacific region, and conducting on-the-ground video interviews with local business leaders. We’ll also provide real-time updates and news on the progress we make here in Montana.

    So be sure to check our APEC 2011 page soon and often – it’s going to be an eventful week here in Big Sky.