U.S. Trade Representative Susan Schwab Welcomes Nomination of Ron Kirk

December 19, 2008


— Ambassador Susan C. Schwab said today that she welcomed the announcement that
President–elect Obama intends to nominate Ron Kirk for the position of United
States Trade Representative.

“The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) plays
a critical role in the U.S. economy by promoting the open
and fair trade of goods and services around the globe,” Ambassador Schwab
said.  “Ron Kirk is an excellent choice and I hope that he continues the
work that we have done to benefit U.S. workers, farmers and
entrepreneurs.  As a former mayor of Dallas, which is a major hub of international
business, he understands the importance of trade.

“The Bush Administration has made important strides in
promoting U.S. trade interests during the past
eight years,” she said.  “When President Bush came into office, the
States had Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) in
force with only three countries.  Today, we have FTAs in force with 14
countries in Latin and North America, in Asia and the Middle East, and in
North Africa.  The Administration is
working to put FTAs with three other countries into force, and three more
agreements await Congressional action. 

“We have laid the groundwork for an ambitious and balanced
multilateral agreement in the World Trade Organization’s Doha Round,” Ambassador
Schwab said.  “China,
Vietnam and others joined the WTO
during this period.  In addition, the United States
took on and resolved multiple trade disputes, including the filing of 27 cases
in the WTO with a success rate of 95 percent for winning or settling
U.S.-initiated cases.  This record includes seven cases challenging Chinese
barriers to U.S. goods,
services, and intellectual property in the seven years since China joining
the WTO.

“I am proud of USTR’s accomplishments in opening markets,
as well as its excellent record of enforcing our trade agreements,” Schwab
said.  “This Administration will leave behind an exceptionally strong,
pro-trade organization that will support the new U.S. Trade Representative as he
continues to build on those accomplishments.”

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