On March 1, United States Trade Representative (USTR) Ron Kirk delivered President Obama’s 2011 Trade Policy Agenda [i] and 2010 Annual Report to Congress. The 2011 Trade Policy Agenda reviews the Obama Administration’s accomplishments in trade policy in 2010, outlines how it will build on such progress with its trade-related plans and goals for 2011 and identifies a number of priority areas, which are discussed below.
Trade as a Source of American Jobs
This year’s Trade Policy Agenda focuses on creating a comprehensive trade policy that will support more and better American jobs and a robust, rules-based global trading system. The Agenda points to the expansion of “smart, responsible trade” as a means to enhancing American economic growth and employment. As part of this job-creation strategy, the Obama Administration will continue in 2011 to build on its 2010 success in implementing the National Export Initiative (NEI), with a special emphasis on expanding exports by small- and medium-sized businesses. This year, the President’s Export Promotion Cabinet will deliver to Congress the first comprehensive report on the progress of the NEI’s implementation.
The theme of supporting American jobs through trade can be found throughout the Trade Policy Agenda, which emphasizes how each of the identified trade policy priorities have connections to American job creation.
(Sheldon Alberts — Montreal Gazette/Postmedia News)
Prime Minister Stephen Harper and U.S. President Barack Obama are seeking a sweeping deal to establish a North American security and trade perimeter, opening talks Friday that could lead to jointly operated Canada-U.S. border facilities, an integrated entry-exit system to track travellers and the deployment of “cross-designated” law enforcement officers to intercept terrorists and criminals.
Harper touted the plan as vital to both the safety and prosperity of Canadians, even as critics expressed concerns a future agreement with the U.S. could compromise the nation’s sovereignty.
“This declaration is not about sovereignty. We are sovereign countries who have the capacity to act as we choose to act,” Harper told reporters following an hour-long White House meeting with Obama.
“It is in Canada’s interests to work with our partners in the United States to ensure that our borders are secure and ensure that we can trade and travel across them as safely and as openly as possible, within the context of our different laws. And that is what we’re trying to achieve…” Read more here.