Readout of Ambassador Kirk’s bilateral meeting with Indian Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma

June 22, 2011


United States Trade Representative Ron Kirk met today with Indian Minister of Commerce and Industry Anand Sharma to discuss a range of bilateral and multilateral issues. Ambassador Kirk reaffirmed that the U.S.-India Trade Policy Forum (TPF) is the premier dialogue for addressing trade and investment issues between the two countries. The two agreed that the TPF should be strengthened to better facilitate resolution of outstanding issues of concern, and looked forward to a constructive meeting of the TPF later this year.


“The booming bilateral trade and investment flows between the United States and India support tens of thousands of critical jobs in both countries, and we know that will only grow significantly in the coming years.” Ambassador Kirk said. “However, to continue and grow our successes both India and the United States must take concrete steps to resolve long-standing market access and investment concerns.”


Additionally, Ambassador Kirk and Minister Sharma also discussed negotiations on a Bilateral Investment Treaty (BIT). Ambassador Kirk reiterated the interest of the United States in re-starting technical-level discussions between the two countries at the earliest opportunity to advance those negotiations. The two agreed that both countries should re-invigorate those negotiations by holding such discussions as soon as possible, ideally before the next meeting of the TPF.


On the World Trade Organization Doha Round, Ambassador Kirk and Minister Sharma recognized the challenges that remain in ongoing discussions but expressed their commitment to exploring options for productive next steps. 

USTR Announces Additional FY 2011 Tariff-Rate Quota Allocations for Raw Cane Sugar

June 22, 2011


Washington, D.C. – The Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) today announced country-specific allocations of additional Fiscal Year (FY) 2011 in-quota quantity of the tariff-rate quota (TRQ) for imported raw cane sugar. TRQs allow countries to export specified quantities of a product to the United States at a relatively low tariff, but subject all imports of the product above a pre-determined threshold to a higher tariff.


Today, the Secretary of Agriculture announced an additional in-quota quantity for the TRQ for raw cane sugar for the remainder of FY 2011 (ending September 30, 2011) in the amount of 108,862 metric tons* raw value (MTRV). This quantity is in addition to the minimum amount to which the United States is committed under the World Trade Organization (WTO) Uruguay Round Agreements.


Based on consultations with quota holding countries, USTR is allocating the quantity of 108,862 MTRV to the following countries in the quantities specified here:


These allocations are based on the countries’ historical shipments to the United States. The allocations of the raw cane sugar TRQ to countries that are net importers of sugar are conditioned on receipt of the appropriate verifications of origin, and certificates for quota eligibility must accompany imports from any country to which an allocation is provided.


*Conversion factor: 1 metric ton = 1.10231125 short tons. HEADLINES


The Hill: “Kirk: Trade guru, golf partner”

June 24, 2011


Kevin Bogardus of The Hill profiled Ambassador Kirk today.


“Kirk: Trade guru, golf partner”


U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk is in for a very busy summer as the Obama administration’s top trade official.


The trade agreements with Colombia, Panama and South Korea that he has been working on for more than two years are finally close to being submitted to Capitol Hill for approval, with floor votes expected possibly in July.


But before those agreements are sent to Congress, the White House has demanded the approval of the expanded version of the Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) program. Some GOP lawmakers have balked at that request due to concerns about the deficit.


“I just think it would be a huge missed opportunity for us, as a country, to not reap the economic benefits and the job-creating potential of these three free-trade agreements, frankly, over partisan politics,” Kirk told The Hill.


Full Article


Update on Trans-Pacific Partnership Negotiations in Vietnam

June 23, 2011


The TPP countries continued their negotiations today on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Agreement in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. Negotiating teams continued accelerating their discussions on the rules of origin and began talks on technical barriers to trade, government procurement, competition, market access for goods, e-commerce, and labor.  Read more


VisionIT CEO David Segura: Leveraging America’s Diversity

June 23, 2011


David Segura is the founder and CEO of VisionIT, one of the largest Hispanic-owned technology firms in the U.S., headquartered in Detroit, Michigan. He is also a member of President Obama’s Advisory Committee for Trade Policy and Negotiations. David shares how America’s diverse cultural resources are enhancing trade relations and economic growth.


My family came to the United States more than 90 years ago from Mexico to contribute to this great nation. Being a grandson of Mexican immigrants, I felt the biggest way to contribute to our nation was through creating a dynamic company, and so I created VisionIT 15 years ago.  Read more


The Advisory Committee for Trade Policy and Negotiations Assembles in DC for USTR Briefing

June 22, 2011


Today, United States Trade Representative Ron Kirk hosted the Advisory Committee for Trade Policy and Negotiations (ACTPN) meeting. Ambassador Kirk, along with USTR senior officials, briefed ACTPN members on various trade issues and topics. Among the items discussed were the Trans-Pacific Partnership, and the importance of the pending trade agreements with South Korea, Colombia, and Panama and Trade Adjustment Assistance. ACTPN members were also briefed on the United States’ engagement with China and India, as well as USTR’s work on enforcing trade agreements.

Read more


Ambassador Kirk and Commissioner De Gucht Focus on Working to Increase U.S. Beef Exports to the EU
June 22, 2011

This week, Ambassador Kirk met with his European Union (EU) counterpart, Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht to discuss a wide range of multilateral and bilateral trade issues, including their mutual interest in achieving a successful transition to the second phase of the 2009 Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) in the U.S.-EU disagreement over trade in beef derived from livestock that have been raised with growth-promoting hormones. Under this MOU, the United States has been shipping high-quality beef to the EU since the middle of 2009, after a decade largely out of the EU beef market. If the two sides agree next year to move to the second phase of the MOU, the United States exporters would have the opportunity to more than double beef exports to the EU. Ambassador Kirk and Commissioner De Gucht also discussed several other issues, seeking to resolve bilateral challenges in the same pragmatic spirit that helped the two sides reach agreement on the beef MOU. The two also exchanged views on the status of the Doha Development Agenda negotiations in the World Trade Organization.  Read more

Increased Agricultural Exports Help Support American Jobs

June 21, 2011


This afternoon, Ambassador Kirk addressed members of the agricultural community at the annual public policy conference of the American Farm Bureau Federation. During the meeting, Ambassador Kirk focused on USTR’s work to increase market access for U.S. agricultural products and the importance of exports in supporting American jobs, both on and off the farm.  Read more


TPP Update: Round Seven, Day Two

June 21, 2011


On Tuesday, negotiations on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Agreement continued in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. Negotiators from the TPP countries began meeting on telecommunications and continued their discussions on rules of origin, financial services, intellectual property, sanitary and phytosanitary measures, environment, and legal and institutional issues. Negotiating teams also held bilateral meetings to advance their work in these areas. Read more


Ambassador Kirk Provides Trade Update to Austin Chamber of Commerce Members

June 21, 2011


Last week, Ambassador Kirk spoke to members of the Austin, Texas Chamber of Commerce in Washington, D.C. Ambassador Kirk provided an update on USTR’s trade agenda, specifically the pending trade agreements with South Korea, Panama, and Colombia and Trade Adjustment Assistance for workers, as well as the Trans-Pacific Partnership. Ambassador Kirk talked about the importance of growing America’s economy through trade and the value of enforcing trade laws. Specifically, he highlighted President Obama’s National Export Initiative, which works to double exports by the end of 2014 and support jobs here at home. Finally, Ambassador Kirk took questions from the group.  Read more


Weekly Trade Spotlight: U.S.-India Trade Relations

June 20, 2011


This week, Ambassador Kirk is meeting with Indian Minister of Commerce and Industry Anand Sharma to discuss U.S.-India trade relations.’s weekly trade spotlight is focusing on U.S.-India trade relations.


The premier dialogue for key U.S.-India trade and investment issues is the U.S.-India Trade Policy Forum (TPF), established in 2005. In the TPF, USTR is working to make progress in a number of areas to strengthen our trade and investment relationship with India, including strengthening copyright and patent protections, eliminating obstacles to foreign direct investment, improving agricultural and industrial standards, and lowering other impediments to U.S. exports of goods and services to India. Work under the TPF occurs throughout the year and culminates in an annual ministerial session, which last took place in September 2010 in Washington, D.C.  Read more


Ambassador Kirk Relays Support for Small Businesses at Annual U.S. Conference of Mayors

June 20, 2011


Today, Ambassador Kirk joined mayors and elected officials at the U.S. Conference of Mayors in Baltimore, Maryland. Ambassador Kirk delivered remarks that reaffirmed President Obama’s commitment to work with leaders all across America to overcome the challenges that currently face our country.  Read more


Ambassador Sapiro Meets With Government Leaders at St. Petersburg International Forum

June 20, 2011


Last week, Deputy United States Trade Representative Miriam Sapiro traveled to Russia to participate in the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF). The SPIEF is an annual summit in Russia that brings together international leaders in government, business, and academia to address global economic opportunities and challenges.  Read more


TPP Update: Round Seven, Day One

June 19, 2011


The United States and its TPP partners – Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Chile, Malaysia, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, and Vietnam – opened the seventh round of negotiations today in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. While the round formally began today, to ensure each negotiating group had sufficient time to advance their work, several negotiating groups, including customs, services, investment, the so-called “horizontal” issues, and others, met beginning on June 15. Each group had productive discussions, helping to build momentum for this week’s negotiations.  Read more



About Alexander Gordin
An international merchant banking professional with over twenty years of business operating and advisory experience in the areas of export finance, international project finance, risk mitigation and cross-border business development. Clients include foreign governments, municipalities and state enterprises as well as Fortune 500 and small/medium enterprises. Strong entrepreneurial instincts, combined with leadership and strategic skills. Transactional and negotiations experience in over thirty five countries. Author of the highly acclaimed "Fluent in Foreign Business" book and creator of the "Fluent in OPIC", "Fluent in EXIM","Fluent In Foreign Franchising", "Fluent in FCPA",and "Fluent in USTDA" seminar/webinar series. Currently developing "Fluent In ......" seminars and publications. Co-author of the Fi3 Country Business Appeal Indices. Extensive international business development and project finance transaction experience in healthcare, aerospace, ICT, conventional and alternative energy infrastructure, distribution and hospitality industries. Experience managing international public and private corporations. Co-Founded three companies abroad. Strong Emerging and Frontier Market expertise. Published and featured in numerous publications including: The Wall Street Journal, Knowledge@Wharton,, The Chicago Tribune, Industry Week, Industry Today, Business Finance, Wharton Magazine Blog, NY Enterprise Report, Success magazine, Kyiv Post and on a number of radio and television programs including: Voice of America, CNBC, CNNfn, and Bloomberg. Frequent speaker on strategy, cross-border finance and international business development. Executive MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. B.S. in Management of Information Systems from the Polytechnic Institute of NYU. Specialties Strategic Management Advisory, Export Finance, International Project Finance & Risk Management, Cross-border Negotiations, Structured Finance transactions, Senior Government and Corporate officials liason

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