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US To Get Tough On Trade Barriers

US - The US Trade Representative (USTR) has transmitted new information to Congress on agricultural and technical barriers to US exports, along with the annual national trade estimate.

USTR Ron Kirk yesterday (31 March) transmitted to Congress the 2010 National Trade Estimate (NTE), which describes significant barriers to US trade and investment faced in the last year as well as the actions being taken by the Office of the USTR to address those barriers. In addition, Ambassador Kirk delivered two new, related reports focusing specifically on sanitary and phytosanitary barriers and technical barriers to trade that harm the ability of America's agricultural producers and manufacturers to export around the world.

Ambassador Kirk said: "The Obama Administration is following through on its commitment to call out and break down barriers to American exports worldwide. This year, we've gone beyond obligatory reporting to focus on some of the toughest hurdles America's farmers, ranchers, manufacturers, and service providers face when they try to sell overseas. USTR will take the information in these new reports, as well as in the National Trade Estimate itself, and use all the tools that we have to get these markets open to American products."

USTR leads US Government agencies' efforts to ensure that foreign governments play by international trade rules, so that sanitary and phytosanitary regulations or standards and related measures do not hinder US producers seeking to compete in international markets. The 2010 reports on sanitary and phytosanitary barriers and on technical barriers to trade document the processes, procedures and tools for engagement on issues related to those trade barriers, and will help focus more intense US engagement on preventing and resolving related trade concerns. The reports evidence this Administration's efforts to identify and eliminate these particular kinds of measures and practices that act as significant barriers to US trade.

This Administration particularly recognises the critical role that standards and related measures play in ensuring the competitiveness of the US economy, both at home and abroad, and the importance of strategic and active engagement across Federal agencies and departments on critical standards-related issues. To this end, USTR will also play a lead role in the recently established Subcommittee on Standards of the National Science and Technology Council.

For further information, click on the link in the titles of the following Sanitary and Phytosanitary Barriers Report Fact Sheets:

Further Reading

- You can view the full report by clicking here.

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