Iraq

Iraq applied for WTO accession in September 2004, and submitted its Memorandum on Foreign Trade Regime in September 2005.

Iraq responded to WTO Member questions on its trade regime in November 2006, and responded to additional questions in December 2008. The first Working Party meeting was held in May 2007, and the second meeting was held in April 2008, both focusing on clarification of Iraq’s trade regime. A third meeting is expected before the end of 2009.

Iraq has been requested to provide its initial market access offers on goods and services before the next Working Party meeting will be convened.

The United States strongly supports Iraq’s interest in joining the WTO, and has actively participated in Iraq’s Working Party meetings and in bilateral consultations with the Government of Iraq on the margins of WTO meetings and other meetings in Washington and Baghdad.

The United States’ statement at Iraq’s first Working Party meeting emphasized the important role that accession to the WTO could play in the revitalization and diversification of Iraq’s economy and the realization of its economic potential.

Working closely with Iraq’s Ministry of Trade, the United States is also providing technical assistance to help Iraq's government with the accession process, including help with WTO training of officials, legal drafting, tariff classification, and specific guidance on implementation of WTO provisions (e.g., in the areas of investment, standards and technical regulations, intellectual property protection, customs, and services).

 

Montenegro

Montenegro was still part of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (FRY) when that country applied for accession to the WTO in 2001. FRY was the last of the former republics of Yugoslavia to do so.

In 2003, the FRY became the country of Serbia and Montenegro, with the understanding that the two republics would pursue harmonized economic policies and therefore continue accession to the WTO as a single entity.

By 2005, however, it became clear that while the Union State of Serbia and Montenegro might be considered a single country, its two constituent territories were operating as separate economic units. They petitioned jointly to split the accession process and to negotiate their WTO Membership as separate customs territories.

The General Council established a Working Party to examine Montenegro’s WTO accession application in February 2005. Its Memorandum on the Foreign Trade Regime was circulated in March 2005.

Montenegro’s first Working Party meeting was held in October 2005. Montenegro’s most recent Working Party meeting – its seventh, held in November 2008 -- conducted the final substantive review of draft Working Party report and provided WTO Members with an opportunity to complete market access negotiations for goods and services. The final WP meetings to adopt WP report and Schedules are planned for later in 2009, after Montenegro completes its bilateral market access negotiations. General Council approval will follow.

The United States has actively participated in Montenegro’s Working Party meetings, and has engaged in bilateral consultations with the Government of Montenegro on the margins of WTO meetings in Geneva.

The United States signed its bilateral market access agreements with Montenegro in January 2009.

The United States has provided technical assistance to Montenegro in the form of an advisor resident in Belgrade, drafting documentation, training, legal drafting, and institution building in the areas of customs, licensing, intellectual property, standards and sanitary measures. This program concluded in March 2009.

TPP News
Hello

June 18, 2010

USTR Ron Kirk Comments on Trans-Pacific Partnership Talks

Washington, D.C. – As the second round of negotiations for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Agreement ended in San Francisco, Calif., today, U .S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk congratulated the U.S. delegation and TPP partners on making “significant, positive” progress during this week’s talks. Discussions on the high-standard, 21st century, Asia-Pacific regional trade agreement focused this week on four key goals: determining the architecture for market access negotiations, deciding the relationship between the TPP and existing FTAs among the negotiating partners, addressing “horizontal” issues such as small business priorities, regulatory coherence, and other issues that reflect the way businesses operate and workers interact in the 21st century, and proceeding toward the tabling of text on all chapters of the agreement in the third negotiating round, scheduled for October in Brunei.

“The Trans-Pacific Partnership is a launch pad for the Obama Administration’s intention to dramatically increase American exports to the Asia-Pacific and create good jobs here at home. We’re in the early stages of these talks, but our team will be reporting some significant, positive outcomes to Congress from this week in San Francisco,” said USTR Kirk. “I am also particularly proud of the degree to which USTR kept President Obama’s promise this week to conduct trade talks in a new way, by inviting U.S. stakeholders to be on-site throughout these negotiations and ensuring that Americans who want to help shape U.S. trade policy had the chance to be heard.”

USTR will brief the staffs of the Senate Finance and House Ways and Means Committees, as well as other key congressional stakeholders, early next week on details of the talks.

This week’s negotiations were conducted among the eight current TPP partner countries – Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Chile, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, the United States, and Vietnam. U.S. involvement in the TPP is predicated on the expansion of the agreement to include more economies across the Asia-Pacific region. TPP negotiations are expected to extend into 2011.

Today’s events began with a fifth and final live briefing for stakeholders in San Francisco for the round. See http://www.ustr.gov/about-us/press-office/blog/2010/june/us-stakeholders... for more information on stakeholder participation.) The following negotiating groups met today to round out the week of talks:

• Lead Negotiators

• Business Mobility

• Capacity Building

• Financial Services

• Government Procurement

• Intellectual Property Rights

• Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures

• Textiles

• Trade Remedies

MEDIA NOTE: USTR will hold a briefing in Washington, DC during the week of June 21 to update trade press on the San Francisco round of TPP talks. Currently available information about this week’s negotiating round, as well as the jobs and other benefits Asia-Pacific trade brings to various states across the country, can be found on www.ustr.gov/tpp and www.ustr.gov/tpp-san-francisco.


TPP Question and Answer: Customs

06/18/2010 - 5:21pm

As part of USTR's Open Government Flagship Initiative, USTR.gov has been collecting comments and questions from the American public to be answered this week regarding the Trans-Pacific Partnership. USTR thanks all those who have sent in questions and comments. The comments have been passed along to the TPP negotiators.

Today we have a question from Charles in New York:

“Research consistently shows that a significant barrier to increased international trade by small businesses is the opaque and expensive problem of Customs procedures, documentation and duties. Outbound USPS parcel traffic in this region has increased in the last few years as more companies sell to other small businesses and directly to consumers. More companies would do so if procedures were less opaque and there was government assistance to make things simpler. What will the Administration do to help make the export/import process via the Posts and express carriers faster, cheaper and easier for small business?”

USTR: “We plan to address the customs-related issues you have identified as part of customs cooperation group of the TPP negotiations. In keeping with our objective to make the TPP a 21st century agreement, we plan to discuss ways that we could further facilitate international trade and increase the transparency of customs procedures, including for outbound and express shipments.”


Trade with the Asia-Pacific Benefits Michigan's Businesses and Workers

06/18/2010 - 12:27pm

The Trans-Pacific Partnership offers tremendous opportunities for U.S. exporters. In a world where 95 percent of consumers reside outside our borders, the Asia-Pacific region comprises 40 percent of the global population. These dynamic economies are growing faster than the world average and generated 56 percent of global GDP in 2009. The Asia-Pacific region is the largest market in the world for U.S. exports and receives two-thirds of U.S. agricultural exports. The Obama Administration is committed to increasing these exports and creating more jobs here at home through the TPP.

This week, USTR.gov will highlight how states across the country benefit from trade with the Asia-Pacific Region. Today, we are showcasing Michigan.

Jobs supported by Michigan’s goods exports are estimated to be 293,000. Michigan’s manufacturing exports accounted for 27.4 percent of its manufacturing output. 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.

A total of 11,205 companies exported goods from Michigan locations in 2007. Of those, 10,057 (90 percent) were small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), with fewer than 500 employees.

Michigan’s export shipments of merchandise in 2009 totaled $32.6 billion. Of Michigan’s total exports, $25.5 billion, or 78 percent, went to markets in the Asia-Pacific region. The top three product categories to TPP member economies exported in 2009 were transportation equipment, machinery manufactures, and chemical manufactures.

Small and medium-sized firms generated 12 percent of Michigan’s total exports of merchandise in 2007. 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.


TPP Daily Schedule: Friday, June 18

06/18/2010 - 11:39am

Schedule for Friday, June 18 at the second round of negotiations for the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement in San Francisco, California:

8:30 a.m. – On-site briefing for participating U.S. stakeholder groups - led by senior USTR staff

Morning negotiations in Working Groups:

  • Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures
  • Textiles
  • Capacity Building
  • Trade Remedies
  • Intellectual Property Rights
  • Business Mobility
  • Government Procurement
  • Financial Services

Afternoon negotiations in Working Groups:

  • Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures
  • Textiles
  • Trade Remedies
  • Intellectual Property Rights
  • Government Procurement
  • Financial Services

The Obama Administration is working in the Trans-Pacific Partnership to develop a high-standard, 21st century, Asia-Pacific regional trade agreement that reflects this Administration’s priorities, including job creation and retention, integrating U.S. companies into Asia-Pacific production and supply chains, promoting new technologies and emerging economic sectors, and boosting small businesses, all while and promoting environmental protection and conservation, transparency, worker rights, and development. The second round of TPP talks is taking place this week in San Francisco.


June 17, 2010

Readout on Day 4 of Trans-Pacific Partnership Negotiations in San Francisco, CA

06/17/2010 - 10:18pm

Today in San Francisco, California, USTR and agency partners across the Obama Administration hosted the fourth day of the second round of negotiations for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Agreement. As usual, the day began with a briefing by lead U.S. negotiator and Assistant USTR Barbara Weisel for stakeholders on-site at this week’s talks. (See http://www.ustr.gov/about-us/press-office/blog/2010/june/us-stakeholders... for more information on stakeholder participation.) Weisel shared with stakeholders that today’s discussions in the lead negotiators’ group would center around how best to address the needs of small- and medium-sized enterprises – a U.S. priority for the TPP agreement and a new issue to feature in a trade deal - and also transparency. Another key item on today’s agenda, she noted, was the issue of supply chains across the Asia-Pacific, with the U.S. goal being integration of American businesses into those supply chains in ways that keep jobs at home in the United States.

Several working groups from the eight TPP partner countries – Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Chile, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, the United States, and Vietnam – began negotiations today on various issue areas, while others continued their talks. Groups continuing or beginning negotiating sessions were:

• Lead Negotiators

• Capacity Building

• Cross-Border Services

• Customs Cooperation

• E-Commerce

• Financial Services

• Government Procurement

• Intellectual Property Rights

• Investment

• Labor

• Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures

• Textiles

Thursday’ activities also featured a presentation to TPP delegates by the Center for Public Analysis on Trade and Health (CPATH) and California Public Health Association-North, stakeholders invited to be on-site during the negotiating round. Information regarding this presentation may be obtained directly from CPATH.

USTR closed the negotiating day with an intra-delegation debrief.

The schedule for the final day of TPP negotiations in San Francisco, as well as additional updates, will be posted on www.ustr.gov and www.ustr.gov/tpp-san-francisco tomorrow - along with information about the jobs and other benefits Asia-Pacific trade brings to various states across the country, and other key information related to the Trans-Pacific Partnership talks.

PLEASE NOTE: There will not be a closing press conference or negotiation readout on Friday, but a reporter briefing will be scheduled in Washington, DC next week.


Trade with the Asia-Pacific Benefits Massachusetts's Businesses and Workers

06/17/2010 - 4:40pm

The Trans-Pacific Partnership offers tremendous opportunities for U.S. exporters. In a world where 95 percent of consumers reside outside our borders, the Asia-Pacific region comprises 40 percent of the global population. These dynamic economies are growing faster than the world average and generated 56 percent of global GDP in 2009. The Asia-Pacific region is the largest market in the world for U.S. exports and receives two-thirds of U.S. agricultural exports. The Obama Administration is committed to increasing these exports and creating more jobs here at home through the TPP.

This week, USTR.gov will highlight how states across the country benefit from trade with the Asia-Pacific Region. Today, we are showcasing Massachusetts.

Jobs supported by Massachusetts’s goods exports are estimated to be 166,000. Massachusetts’s manufacturing exports accounted for 29.2 percent of its manufacturing output. Over one-quarter (28 percent) of all manufacturing workers in Massachusetts depend on exports for their jobs, the fourth highest share among all 50 states. Although not measured, there are also additional jobs supported by Massachusetts’s exports of services.

A total of 8,872 companies exported goods from Massachusetts locations in 2007. Of those, 7,933 (89 percent) were small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), with fewer than 500 employees.

Massachusetts’s export shipments of merchandise in 2009 totaled $23.6 billion. Of Massachusetts’s total exports, $10.4 billion, or 44 percent, went to markets in the Asia-Pacific region. The top three product categories to TPP member economies exported in 2009 were computers and electronic products, machinery manufactures, and miscellaneous manufactures.

Small and medium-sized firms generated nearly one-third (31 percent) of Massachusetts’s total exports of merchandise in 2007. 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.


TPP Question and Answer: Legal Services

06/17/2010 - 1:30pm

As part of USTR's Open Government Flagship Initiative, USTR.gov has been collecting comments and questions from the American public to be answered this week regarding the Trans-Pacific Partnership. USTR thanks all those who have sent in questions and comments. The comments have been passed along to the TPP negotiators.

Today we have a question from Peter in Washington, DC:

“As a lawyer engaged in transnational transactions, I was pleased to see the U.S. enter into the FTAs with Australia (in particular) and Chile and Singapore, with their unique and useful provisions facilitating Mode 4 delivery of legal services. The special visas for Australians were particularly important and unique. How will these important developments in US trade and immigration law, that affect trade in legal services, be protected, expanded or incorporated into the TPP?”

USTR: “Thank you for your question. We know that many industries feel they benefit from the temporary entry provisions in some of our FTAs. One clarification, however: the special professionals admission category for Australia (the E-3 program) is the result of separate legislative action on the part of the U.S. Congress and is not part of, or related to, the U.S.– Australia FTA. We do not expect that the TPP negotiations will lead to any changes in the temporary entry provisions of our bilateral FTAs with Chile or Singapore, or affect the operation of the E-3 program for Australian professionals.”


Daily Schedule: Thursday, June 17

06/17/2010 - 11:52am

Schedule for Thursday, June 17 at the second round of negotiations for the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement in San Francisco, California:

8:30 a.m. – On-site briefing for participating U.S. stakeholder groups - led by senior USTR staff

Morning negotiations in Working Groups:

  • Labor
  • Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures
  • Textiles
  • Capacity Building
  • Customs Cooperation
  • Intellectual Property Rights
  • E-Commerce
  • Government Procurement
  • Investment
  • Financial Services

Afternoon negotiations in Working Groups:

  • Labor
  • Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures
  • Textiles
  • Capacity Building
  • Intellectual Property Rights
  • E-Commerce
  • Government Procurement
  • Investment
  • Financial Services

5:00 pm: Center for Public Analysis on Trade and Health (CPATH) and California Public Health Association-North stakeholder presentation to TPP Delegates

The Obama Administration is working in the Trans-Pacific Partnership to develop a high-standard, 21st century, Asia-Pacific regional trade agreement that reflects this Administration’s priorities, including job creation and retention, integrating U.S. companies into Asia-Pacific production and supply chains, promoting new technologies and emerging economic sectors, and boosting small businesses, all while and promoting environmental protection and conservation, transparency, worker rights, and development. The second round of TPP talks is taking place this week in San Francisco.


June 16, 2010

Readout on Day 3 of Trans-Pacific Partnership Negotiations in San Francisco, CA

06/16/2010 - 9:58pm

Today in San Francisco, California, USTR and agency partners across the Obama Administration hosted the third day of the second round of negotiations for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Agreement. As usual, the day began with a briefing by lead U.S. negotiator and Assistant USTR Barbara Weisel for stakeholders on-site at this week’s talks. (See http://www.ustr.gov/about-us/press-office/blog/2010/june/us-stakeholders... for more information on stakeholder participation.) Weisel shared with stakeholders that discussions regarding market access architecture, in particular, were notable for the initial flexibility shown by TPP partner countries in exploring options. Questions still remain regarding the relationship between pre-existing FTAs and the TPP agreement. Weisel noted that one or more negotiating groups may have intersessional meetings before the next round of formal TPP talks in October.

Several working groups from the eight TPP partner countries – Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Chile, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, the United States, and Vietnam – began negotiations today on various issue areas, while others continued their talks. Groups continuing or beginning negotiating sessions were:

• Lead Negotiators

• Cross-Border Services

• Customs Cooperation

• Financial Services

• Industrial Goods

• Intellectual Property Rights

• Investment

• Labor

• Legal and Institutional

• Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures

• Services

• Telecommunications

Wednesday’s activities also featured three more presentations to TPP delegates by stakeholders invited to be on-site during the negotiating round:

• California Farm Bureau Federation

• International Forum on Globalization

• PETA

Information regarding these presentations may be obtained directly from the organizations.

USTR closed the negotiating day on Wednesday with an intra-delegation debrief.

The Thursday schedule for TPP negotiations, as well as additional updates, will be posted on www.ustr.gov and www.ustr.gov/tpp-san-francisco tomorrow - along with information about the jobs and other benefits Asia-Pacific trade brings to various states across the country, and other key information related to the Trans-Pacific Partnership talks.


Trade with the Asia-Pacific Benefits Vermont's Businesses and Workers

06/16/2010 - 4:29pm

The Trans-Pacific Partnership offers tremendous opportunities for U.S. exporters. In a world where 95 percent of consumers reside outside our borders, the Asia-Pacific region comprises 40 percent of the global population. These dynamic economies are growing faster than the world average and generated 56 percent of global GDP in 2009. The Asia-Pacific region is the largest market in the world for U.S. exports and receives two-thirds of U.S. agricultural exports. The Obama Administration is committed to increasing these exports and creating more jobs here at home through the TPP.

This week, USTR.gov will highlight how states across the country benefit from trade with the Asia-Pacific Region. Today, we are showcasing Vermont.

Jobs supported by Vermont’s goods exports are estimated to be 23,000. Vermont’s manufacturing exports accounted for 29.5 percent of its manufacturing output. More than one-quarter (28.8 percent) of all manufacturing workers in Vermont depend on exports for their jobs, the third highest figure among the 50 states. Although not measured, there are also additional jobs supported by Vermont’s exports of services.

A total of 963 companies exported goods from Vermont locations in 2007. Of those, 831 (86 percent) were small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), with fewer than 500 employees.

Vermont’s export shipments of merchandise in 2009 totaled $3.2 billion. Of Vermont’s total exports, $2.8 billion, or 88 percent, went to markets in the Asia-Pacific region. The top three product categories to TPP member economies exported in 2009 were computers and electronic products, non-metallic mineral manufactures, and processed foods.

Small and medium-sized firms generated 14 percent of Vermont’s total exports of merchandise in 2007. 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.


TPP Daily Schedule: Wednesday, June 16

06/16/2010 - 12:52pm

Schedule for Wednesday, June 16 at the second round of negotiations for the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement in San Francisco, California:

8:30 a.m. – On-site briefing for participating U.S. stakeholder groups - led by senior USTR staff

Morning negotiations in Working Groups:

  • Labor
  • Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures
  • Legal and Institutional
  • Customs Cooperation
  • Intellectual Property Rights
  • Cross-Border Services
  • Telecommunications
  • Industrial Goods
  • Investment

Afternoon negotiations in Working Groups:

  • Labor
  • Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures
  • Customs Cooperation
  • Intellectual Property Rights
  • Telecommunications
  • Industrial Goods
  • Investment
  • Financial Services

2:30 pm: California Farm Bureau Federation stakeholder presentation to TPP Delegates

4:00 pm: International Forum on Globalization stakeholder presentation to TPP Delegates

5:00 pm: PETA stakeholder presentation to TPP Delegates

The Obama Administration is working in the Trans-Pacific Partnership to develop a high-standard, 21st century, Asia-Pacific regional trade agreement that reflects this Administration’s priorities, including job creation and retention, integrating U.S. companies into Asia-Pacific production and supply chains, promoting new technologies and emerging economic sectors, and boosting small businesses, all while and promoting environmental protection and conservation, transparency, worker rights, and development. The second round of TPP talks is taking place this week in San Francisco.


June 15, 2010

Readout on Day 2 of Trans-Pacific Partnership Negotiations in San Francisco, CA 

Today in San Francisco, California, USTR and agency partners across the Obama Administration hosted the second day of the second round of negotiations for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Agreement. As on Monday, the day began with a briefing by lead U.S. negotiator and Assistant USTR Barbara Weisel for stakeholders on-site at this week’s talks. (See http://www.ustr.gov/about-us/press-office/blog/2010/june/us-stakeholders... for more information on stakeholder participation.) Among topics raised were services and development elements in the TPP, and how USTR will stay in touch with stakeholders beyond this week’s face-to-face meetings in San Francisco.

Working groups from the eight TPP partner countries – Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Chile, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, the United States, and Vietnam – met throughout the day to negotiate on various issue areas. Groups continuing or beginning negotiating sessions were:

• Lead Negotiators

• Agriculture

• Competition

• Environment

• Intellectual Property

• Labor

• Legal and Institutional

• Market Access

• Rules of Origin

• Services

• Technical Barriers to Trade

Tuesday’s activities also featured the first of several presentations to TPP delegates this week by stakeholders invited to be on-site during the negotiating round. Lori Wallach, Director of Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch, addressed more than two dozen U.S. and international delegates regarding investment and financial service terms in the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement. In a separate on-site presentation, AFL-CIO’s Jeff Vogt shared ideas for the Labor chapter of the agreement. Information regarding stakeholder presentations may be obtained directly from presenting organizations.

As on Monday, USTR closed the negotiating day on Tuesday with an intra-delegation debrief.

The Wednesday schedule for TPP negotiations, as well as additional updates, will be posted on www.ustr.gov and www.ustr.gov/tpp-san-francisco tomorrow - along with information about the jobs and other benefits Asia-Pacific trade brings to various states across the country, and other key information related to the Trans-Pacific Partnership talks.


TPP Question and Answer: Colombia and TPP

06/15/2010 - 7:06pm

As part of USTR's Open Government Flagship Initiative, USTR.gov has been collecting comments and questions from the American public to be answered this week regarding the Trans-Pacific Partnership. USTR thanks all those who have sent in questions and comments. The comments have been passed along to the TPP negotiators.

Today's question is from Dominic in Pennsylvania: 

“Our Port does a lot of business with Colombia. Colombia is certainly more, "like minded" with the U.S. than, say, Vietnam. Can we include Colombia in the TPP?”

USTR: "Thank you for your interest and support for our trade relations with Colombia. Colombia is a significant hemispheric trading partner which is an ally of the United States in a number of important areas. We anticipate expanding the TPP to include additional economies in the Asia Pacific region. However, the current TPP members have decided to focus initial expansion of the group on APEC member economies, of which Colombia is not one at this time. Meanwhile, the Administration is working hard to address concerns regarding the U.S.-Colombia free trade agreement, which holds significant potential to expand U.S.-Colombia trade."


Trade with the Asia-Pacific Benefits South Carolina's Businesses and Workers

06/15/2010 - 2:24pm

The Trans-Pacific Partnership offers tremendous opportunities for U.S. exporters. In a world where 95 percent of consumers reside outside our borders, the Asia-Pacific region comprises 40 percent of the global population. These dynamic economies are growing faster than the world average and generated 56 percent of global GDP in 2009. The Asia-Pacific region is the largest market in the world for U.S. exports and receives two-thirds of U.S. agricultural exports. The Obama Administration is committed to increasing these exports and creating more jobs here at home through the TPP.

 This week, USTR.gov will highlight how states across the country benefit from trade with the Asia-Pacific Region. Today, we are showcasing South Carolina.

 Jobs supported by South Carolina’s goods exports are estimated to be 150,000. South Carolina’s manufacturing exports accounted for 32.9 percent of its manufacturing output. More than one-quarter (28.9 percent) of all manufacturing workers in South Carolina depend on exports for their jobs, the second highest figure among the 50 states. Although not measured, there are also additional jobs supported by South Carolina’s exports of services.

A total of 3,575 companies exported goods from South Carolina locations in 2007. Of those, 2,933 (82 percent) were small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), with fewer than 500 employees.

South Carolina’s export shipments of merchandise in 2009 totaled $16.5 billion. Of South Carolina’s total exports, $6.8 billion, or 41 percent, went to markets in the Asia-Pacific region. The top three product categories to TPP member economies exported in 2009 were transportation equipment, plastic and rubber products, and chemical manufactures.

Small and medium-sized firms generated 12 percent of South Carolina’s total exports of merchandise in 2007. 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.


TPP Daily Schedule: Tuesday, June 15

06/15/2010 - 11:58am

Schedule for Tuesday, June 15 at the second round of negotiations for the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement in San Francisco, California:

8:30 a.m. – On-site briefing for participating U.S. stakeholder groups - led by senior USTR staff 

Morning negotiations in Working Groups:

  • Technical Barriers to Trade
  • Agriculture
  • Legal and Institutional
  • Rules of Origin
  • Intellectual Property Rights
  • Cross-Border Services
  • Competition
  • Investment
  • Environment

12:00 pm: Public Citizen stakeholder presentation to TPP Delegates

Afternoon negotiations in Working Groups:

  • Labor
  • Technical Barriers to Trade
  • Agriculture
  • Legal and Institutional
  • Rules of Origin
  • Intellectual Property Rights
  • Cross-Border Services
  • Investment
  • Environment

5:00 pm: AFL-CIO stakeholder presentation to TPP Delegates

The Obama Administration is working in the Trans-Pacific Partnership to develop a high-standard, 21st century, Asia-Pacific regional trade agreement that reflects this Administration’s priorities, including job creation and retention, integrating U.S. companies into Asia-Pacific production and supply chains, promoting new technologies and emerging economic sectors, and boosting small businesses, all while and promoting environmental protection and conservation, transparency, worker rights, and development. The second round of TPP talks is taking place this week in San Francisco.


June 14, 2010

Readout on Day 1 of Trans-Pacific Partnership Negotiations in San Francisco, CA

06/14/2010 - 10:03pm

Today in San Francisco, California, USTR and agency partners across the Obama Administration hosted the first day of the second round of negotiations for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Agreement. The day began with a briefing by lead U.S. negotiator and Assistant USTR Barbara Weisel for stakeholders who registered to attend and participate in events around this week’s talks. (See http://www.ustr.gov/about-us/press-office/blog/2010/june/us-stakeholders... for more information on stakeholder participation.) Topics of discussion ranged from the U.S. approach on investment issues to the relationship between the new TPP agreement and pre-existing free trade agreements (FTAs), the process for consultations with Congress when additional countries join the TPP talks, and other issues.

The round began with a plenary meeting of all negotiators present from the eight TPP partner countries – Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Chile, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, the United States, and Vietnam. The opening plenary was an overview of goals for the week’s talks: determining a framework for market access negotiations and the relationship between the TPP agreement and pre-existing FTAs, and defining a path forward on so-called “horizontal” issues including small business priorities, regulatory coherence, competitiveness, supply chains, development, and regional integration. Negotiators also discussed the amount of progress they hope to make this week in order to be in a position to begin drafting text before the third round of TPP talks in October.

In the afternoon, various working groups met to begin negotiations in specific issue areas:

*Technical Barriers to Trade

*Market Access

*Legal and Institutional

*Cross-Border Services

*Competition

*Investment

*Environment

USTR hopes to report progress from these groups as the week continues. The first day of San Francisco negotiations closed with a U.S. delegation debriefing on the day.


Trade with the Asia-Pacific Benefits Washington's Businesses and Workers

06/14/2010 - 8:15pm

The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) offers tremendous opportunities for U.S. exporters. In a world where 95 percent of consumers reside outside our borders, the Asia-Pacific region comprises 40 percent of the global population. These dynamic economies are growing faster than the world average and generated 56 percent of global GDP in 2009. The Asia-Pacific region is the largest market in the world for U.S. exports and receives two-thirds of U.S. agricultural exports. The Obama Administration is committed to increasing these exports and creating more jobs here at home through the TPP.

This week, USTR.gov will highlight how states across the country benefit from trade with the Asia-Pacific Region. Today, we are showcasing Washington.

Jobs supported by Washington’s goods exports are estimated to be 332,000. Washington’s manufacturing exports accounted for 45.1 percent of its manufacturing output. 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.

A total of 8,042 companies exported goods from Washington locations in 2007. Of those, 7,196 (89 percent) were small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), with fewer than 500 employees.

Washington’s export shipments of merchandise in 2009 totaled $51.7 billion. Of Washington’s total exports, $33.0 billion, or 64 percent, went to markets in the Asia-Pacific region. The top three product categories to TPP member economies exported in 2009 were transportation equipment, computers and electronic products, and petroleum and coal products.

Small and medium-sized firms generated nearly one-sixth (16 percent) of Washington’s total exports of merchandise in 2007. 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.


Weekly Trade Spotlight: The Trans-Pacific Partnership

06/14/2010 - 5:57pm

On June 14, the second round of negotiations for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Agreement began in San Francisco, California. The eight initial countries involved in the TPP are the United States, Singapore, Chile, New Zealand, Brunei, Australia, Peru, and Vietnam.

The Obama Administration intends for this high-standard, 21st-century trade agreement to expand U.S. exports to the dynamic economies of the Asia-Pacific, create and retain American jobs. integrate American companies in Asia-Pacific production and supply chains, and promote new technologies and emerging economic sectors. Importantly, it will create more opportunities for America’s small- and medium-sized companies, prioritize labor and environmental protections, and foster development.

This week’s negotiating round in San Francisco will focus on setting the framework and pace of the negotiations. Stakeholders and Congressional staff have been invited to participate in a series of activities on-site throughout the week.

In 2009, U.S. goods exports to the Asia-Pacific region totaled $618 billion, agriculture exports were $72 billion, and U.S. services exports to the region grew to $187 billion. U.S. small and medium-sized enterprises alone exported $193 billion to the Asia-Pacific in 2009.

USTR formally notified Congress of the Obama Administration's intent to enter into negotiations of the TPP on December 14, 2009. Since then, USTR has been working with Congress and stakeholders to obtain public input in the negotiations through briefings, advisory meetings, and comments from federal register notices. USTR is also conducting a fifty-state domestic outreach program to meet face-to-face with stakeholders across the country about the agreement.

The first round of negotiations took place from March 15-19 in Melbourne, Australia.

For more information on the TPP negotiations, visit www.ustr.gov/tpp-san-francisco.


U.S. Stakeholders Join USTR in San Francisco

06/14/2010 - 4:35pm

This week, Americans with interests ranging from labor rights to agriculture to environmental protection and other issues have been invited to join USTR in San Francisco, California for the second round of negotiations for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Agreement - a high-standard, regional, Asia-Pacific trade agreement that will help to expand American exports, saving and creating good jobs here at home.

USTR is excited and pleased to have the participation of more than 25 organizations in San Francisco this week. USTR staff will brief participating stakeholders daily, as well as holding individual and group meetings as requested on various areas of interest. Various groups will also be able to give on-site presentations to trade negotiators from the eight participating TPP economies. Registered groups are:

• AFL-CIO

• American Farm Bureau Federation

• American Sugar Alliance

• California Farm Bureau Federation

• California Public Health Association-North

• Center for Policy Analysis on Trade and Health (CPATH)

• Citizens Trade Campaign

• FedEx Express

• Friends of the Earth

• Intel

• International Forum on Globalization

• Land O Lakes

• National Center for APEC

• National Farmers Union

• National Milk Producers Federation 

• National Pork Producers Council

• Oceana

• Oregon Fair Trade Campaign

• PETA

• Public Citizen

• Sierra Club

• U.S. Chamber of Commerce

• Yale Law Offices

USTR is currently conducting an unprecedented 50-state domestic outreach program to engage with the American people and involve them in the TPP negotiation process. Since the formal announcement in December, 2009 of the United States’ intent to join the TPP, stakeholders with have been asked for input on the agreement in a variety of forms, from Federal Register notices to online chats and in-person briefings.

If you have questions or would like to provide comments on the TPP or the current negotiations, please visit USTR’s TPP page. And be sure to follow the negotiations on USTR’s TPP San Francisco page. 


 

Reaction on the Second Round of TPP Negotiations

06/14/2010 - 01:29pm

Today, the second round of negotiations for the Trans-Pacific Partnership kicked off in San Francisco. Here's what some people are saying about the round:

U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations 

Oceana

U.S. Business Coalition for TPP

Emergency Committee for American Trade

To learn more about this round, visit the TPP San Francisco page. 


Daily Schedule: Monday, June 14

06/14/2010 - 11:11am 

Schedule for Monday, June 14 at the second round of negotiations for the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement in San Francisco, California:

8:30 a.m. – On-site briefing for participating U.S. stakeholder groups - led by senior USTR staff

9:30 a.m. – Plenary session

Afternoon negotiations in Working Groups:

  • Technical Barriers to Trade

  • Market Access

  • Legal and Institutional

  • Cross-Border Services

  • Competition

  • Investment

  • Environment

Evening: U.S./Host Press Briefing – press may go

The Obama Administration is working in the Trans-Pacific Partnership to develop a high-standard, 21st century, Asia-Pacific regional trade agreement that reflects this Administration’s priorities, including job creation and retention, integrating U.S. companies into Asia-Pacific production and supply chains, promoting new technologies and emerging economic sectors, and boosting small businesses, all while and promoting environmental protection and conservation, transparency, worker rights, and development. The second round of TPP talks is taking place this week in San Francisco.


June 11, 2010

Working to Grow American Jobs Through Trade in the Asia-Pacific Region

Posted by Ambassador Demetrios Marantis on June 11, 2010 at 02:45 PM EDT

Next week, the United States will welcome to San Francisco negotiators from seven countries for the second round of Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade negotiations.

TPP is an exciting opportunity for the Obama Administration and the United States, because at heart TPP is about shaping America’s economic future. We know that the Asia-Pacific is the most economically dynamic region in the world and will likely drive global growth in years to come. Given this region’s critical importance, we should set enduring economic ties with the Asia-Pacific in a way that creates good jobs and sustainable growth in the United States. In the TPP, we can sit down with seven like-minded nations to build a platform for economic integration across the Asia Pacific that works for Americans today and in the future. We are looking forward to productive discussions with our counterparts from Australia, Brunei, Chile, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, and Vietnam.

Last week I met with all seven TPP trade ministers in Japan, and we directed our negotiators to work hard to build on the momentum from the first negotiating round in March in Melbourne, Australia. While negotiations are in an early stage, we have already been doing new and innovative things in the TPP. For example, we are doing everything we can to bring Americans’ priorities to the negotiating table. We have an unprecedented partnership with Congress to best represent their priorities, and we have been sitting down with Americans around the country to hear their views. In just the past few months, I have met with farmers in Sacramento, port operators in Philadelphia, and manufacturers and service providers Kansas City. Next week I’ll be hearing from businesses and other stakeholders in Rhode Island and Connecticut. We’ll continue this outreach across the country throughout this year.

We are also bringing greater transparency to the talks. We have built a terrific webpage at ustr.gov/tpp, where we are posting a wealth information and hearing from folks around the country. The site recently hosted an online chat with our chief negotiator, and we will do more online chats in the future. We have also invited stakeholders to the negotiating round in San Francisco to make sure they are informed as negotiations progress and will be updating those across America through a dedicated webpage at ustr.gov/tpp-san-francisco.

Building on this unprecedented outreach and transparency, we are working to build the TPP into a 21st century trade agreement that reflects our nation’s economic strengths as well as its values. We want the TPP to work for all Americans – workers, farmers, ranchers, service providers, and businesses large and small.

We are looking forward to a productive week of talks. And I look forward to hearing from you.

Ambassador Demetrios Marantis is the Deputy United States Trade Representative

[This post has been cross-posted from WhiteHouse.gov]