Q: When was the Interagency Center on Trade Implementation, Monitoring, and Enforcement (ICTIME) established?
A: ICTIME was established pursuant to the Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act of 2015, enacted on February 24, 2016. ICTIME’s predecessor, the Interagency Trade Enforcement Center (ITEC), was established pursuant to Executive Order 13601, signed by President Obama on February 28, 2012.
Q: What does the Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act (2015) say about ICTIME?
A: The Trade Facilitation and Enforcement Act of 2015 at Section 604 establishes the following four priorities for ICTIME:
(A) investigating potential disputes under the auspices of the World Trade Organization;
(B) investigating potential disputes pursuant to bilateral and regional trade agreements to which the United States is a party;
(C) carrying out the functions of the United States Trade Representative under this section with respect to the monitoring and enforcement of trade agreements to which the United States is a party; and
(D) monitoring measures taken by parties to implement provisions of trade agreements to which the United States is a party.
Q: What is ICTIME’s mission?
A: ICTIME is charged with fighting for American workers, farmers, ranchers, and businesses by bringing a more assertive approach to addressing unfair trade practices around the world. ICTIME has been supported by the Departments of Agriculture, Homeland Security, Justice, State, Commerce, Treasury, and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence in carrying out this mission. The personnel from these agencies enhance overall U.S. trade enforcement capabilities and facilitate increased engagement with foreign trade partners at the World Trade Organization (WTO), under regional and bilateral trade agreements, and under domestic trade law.
Q: How is ICTIME different from existing trade enforcement programs?
A: ICTIME constitutes a more dedicated “whole-of-government” approach to addressing unfair trade practices and trade barriers. ICTIME has an expanded team of language-proficient researchers, subject matter experts, and economic analysts to help leverage and mobilize resources and expertise across the federal government to develop trade enforcement actions that will address unfair foreign trade practices and barriers that could otherwise imperil our nation’s export promotion and job recovery efforts. ICTIME focuses on enforcement and implementation of existing international trade agreements and domestic trade law rather than on the negotiation of new agreements.
Q: Doesn’t the U.S. government already have the capacity to address unfair trade practices and trade barriers?
A: ICTIME seeks to link, leverage, and align both existing and new resources more efficiently across the executive branch and with stakeholders to enhance the U.S. government’s ability to bring more and better issues forward for enforcement. ICTIME’s goal is to build upon existing capacity to give U.S. companies, workers, and producers every chance to compete on a level playing field in today’s global marketplace.
Q: How many people will be working at ICTIME at any given time?
A: On average, ICTIME has a dozen full-time staff, as well as part-time staff.