September 9, 2011

...We honor memories of all who died in the attacks of September 11th

Members Named to Seven Agricultural Trade Advisory Committees

Additional Applicants Sought

WASHINGTON, DC – Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and United States Trade Representative Ron Kirk today announced the appointment of 148 private-sector members to the Agricultural Policy Advisory Committee (APAC) and six Agricultural Technical Advisory Committees (ATACs).

“With U.S. agricultural exports reaching record highs as our farmers and ranchers bring the American brand to more of the world consumers, agricultural trade is demonstrating once again its vital role in the health of our nation’s economy,” said Secretary Vilsack.“Members of these seven committees understand the importance of open markets to the U.S. economy. By serving on these committees, they have the opportunity to provide their expertise and knowledge to deliberations that influence U.S. trade policy, ultimately helping to grow, innovate and out-compete the rest of the world.”

“These appointments are an important step in the Obama Administration’s ongoing efforts to expand trade and bring new opportunities to America’s farmers and ranchers, as well as the businesses and workers they support,” said Ambassador Kirk.“Agricultural exports are a critical component of America’s economy, and the input and advice these individuals will provide in the coming years will be indispensible in helping to identify and capitalize on new and emerging trade opportunities.”

Congress established the advisory committee system in 1974 to ensure a private-sector voice in establishing U.S. agricultural trade policy objectives to reflect U.S. commercial and economic interests. The U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative jointly manage the committees.

The APAC provides advice and information to the Secretary of Agriculture and the U.S. Trade Representative on negotiating objectives, positions and other matters related to the development, implementation and administration of U.S. agricultural trade policy. The ATACs offer technical advice and information on specific commodities.

The six ATACs are:

  • Animals and Animal Products
  • Fruits and Vegetables
  • Grains, Feed, Oilseeds and Planting Seeds
  • Processed Foods
  • Sweeteners and Sweetener Products
  • Tobacco, Cotton and Peanuts

This initial group of committee members will serve until June 9, 2015. They will be supplemented by additional appointments over the next four years. Applications are encouraged at any time and will be reviewed periodically for additional appointments going forward. Information about applying is available at Questions may be directed to Steffon Brown at 202-720-6219 or via e-mail

Lists of appointed members by committee can be found here.

Statement by Ambassador Michael Punke
Deputy United States Trade Representative 

CCairns Group Ministerial Meeting
Saskatoon, Canada
September 8,2011

* As Delivered *

“Let me begin today by expressing the appreciation of the United States to members of the Cairns Group, and especially to Ministers Ritz and Emerson, for the invitation to participate in this ministerial meeting. Ambassador Kirk regrets very much that the press of important business with the U.S. Congress prevented him from joining you, and he has asked me to convey his personal appreciation for your invitation to Ambassador Siddiqui and me to stand in his place.

“We have learned through the years that our engagements with the Cairns Group consistently enrich our own consideration and development of U.S. trade policy. This is grounded in our shared commitment to the WTO. The WTO continues to prove its vitality as guardian of the rules for international trade, and also as a unique and effective forum for dispute resolution. Throughout the ten years of difficult Doha negotiations and global economic crises, the transparent, predictable and rules-based multilateral trading system embodied by the WTO has served as an effective bulwark against protectionism and has provided its Members with an essential source of sustainable economic growth, development, and job creation. That’s the good news – and we shouldn’t allow it to be overlooked. But nor should we sugarcoat the Doha Round’s current problems.

“We have found that the Cairns group is a good group for brainstorming. And the need for brainstorming is particularly critical right now, as we face a highly uncertain, but undoubtedly difficult, road ahead on the Doha Development Agenda.

“Like all of us here, the United States has serious concerns about the overall state of the Round, including the significant challenges confronting WTO Members as we prepare for the 8th Ministerial Conference of the WTO in just three months’ time.

“When they meet in December, ministers will confront a variety of different perspectives on the Round, its prospects, and its forward path. And there is a distressingly short period of time to figure out, collectively, what to do.

Read the rest of the statement here.

United States Prevails in WTO Dispute about Chinese Tire Imports


WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today United States Trade Representative Ron Kirk announced that the World Trade Organization (WTO) Appellate Body found in favor of the United States in a dispute brought by China challenging the imposition of additional duties on imports of Chinese tires. A WTO panel had rejected all of China’s claims against the United States, finding that the United States acted consistently with its WTO obligations in imposing the additional duties. The Appellate Body, in turn, rejected all of China’s claims on appeal.

“This is a tremendous victory for the United States as well as for American workers and manufacturers. We have said all along that President Obama’s decision to impose duties on Chinese tires was fully consistent with our WTO obligations. A WTO panel agreed with us and now the Appellate Body has confirmed it,” said Ambassador Kirk. “The Obama Administration will continue to fight for U.S. jobs and businesses. We will use our trade laws to stand up for our workers and address harm to them.”


On September 11, 2009, the President imposed additional duties on imports of certain passenger vehicle and light truck tires from China for a period of three years in order to remedy the market disruption caused by those imports, as determined by the U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC). This safeguard measure was imposed in response to a petition filed by the United Steel, Paper and Forestry, Rubber, Manufacturing, Energy, Allied Industrial and Service Workers Union under section 421 of the Trade Act of 1974, as amended (19 U.S.C. § 2451). Section 421 implements the transitional safeguard contained in Section 16 of China’s Protocol of Accession to the WTO.

China alleged that the USITC’s determination regarding market disruption and the level and duration of the additional duties were inconsistent with the Protocol of Accession and the GATT 1994. In addition, China alleged that the section 421 definition of “significant cause” was in and of itself inconsistent with the Protocol of Accession. A WTO panel sided with the United States and rejected all of China’s claims in a report circulated in December 2010. China appealed with respect to the panel’s findings regarding the USITC determination.

The Appellate Body’s report can be found here.

USTR Statement Regarding the Trans-Pacific Partnership Negotiations


WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Office of the United States Trade Representative issued the following statement today regarding the planned Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations in Chicago, IL this week.

“We are pleased to bring trading partners to Chicago this week from eight economies in the Asia-Pacific region. The Administration’s goal is to craft a high-standard, 21st-century agreement that tackles the tough issues of trade in creative and thoughtful ways, with considerable input from the broadest range of stakeholders, in order to boost trade and investment and support the creation and retention of jobs,” said Assistant U.S. Trade Representative Carol Guthrie.“During the Chicago round, the U.S. Government will be hosting a forum at which nearly 250 stakeholders representing business, academic groups and the public will be given an opportunity to make presentations on issues related to the TPP negotiations. Last year we invited stakeholders to engage at the June TPP negotiating round in San Francisco. We have invited stakeholder attendance during every subsequent round. Thanks to this and other outreach, we already have had considerable input from the broadest range of stakeholders as we have been developing our proposals for the negotiations. We very much look forward to receiving further input from these stakeholders and expect that, as always, their contributions will inform the discussions of negotiators in this U.S.-hosted round of talks.” HEADLINES

The American Jobs Act: Putting Americans Back to Work

On Thursday, September 8 President Obama unveiled the American Jobs Act to the public. Part of the President’s strategy to rebuild the economy, the legislation is a set of ideas supported by both Democrats and Republicans that will help to put Americans back to work without adding anything to the deficit. It will help workers find jobs through investment projects, tax cuts for workers and for businesses, support for the long-term unemployed and more.

The American Jobs Act will make a real difference for real Americans who want to support their families, send their kids to school and save for retirement. The jobs it helps to create will be jobs in your community, for teachers laid off from state budget cuts, veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan, first responders, and construction workers who can help to rebuild our roads and bridges and schools. And it does more for those who have been unemployed for a long time, helping them support their families while they look for work and reforming the system to better connect them to real jobs.

Through the American Jobs Act, President Obama is rebuilding the economy the American way: based on balance, fairness and the same set of rules for everyone. It will create the jobs of the future by investing in small business entrepreneurs, education, and making things the world buys – something we know about at USTR, and why we’re also working for the passage of job-creating trade agreements with South Korea, Colombia, and Panama.

The President will send the American Jobs Act to the Hill next week. Congress must act immediately to create more jobs and put more money in Americans’ pockets right now.

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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