U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk has presented the 2009 National Trade Estimate Report to Congress, which outlines how his office plans to address trade barriers.

According to the document, USTR is:

  • Reviewing implementation of existing U.S. trade agreements, including labor and environment enforcement provisions.
  • Initiating a process to prioritize trade barriers enumerated in the National Trade Estimate Report and to address the most significant ones.
  • Identifying new cases where market access for U.S. goods and services is jeopardized due to disregard for the rule of law, costing U.S. workers and businesses export opportunities and jobs.
  • Planning to prosecute those cases through multilateral and bilateral dispute resolution.
  • Working with Congress to improve trade enforcement.

"We must work to open new markets around the world for American farmers, manufacturers, ranchers and service providers, and at the same time ensure that American workers are reaping the promised benefits of previous agreements through strong enforcement," Kirk said in a statement. "The actions that USTR is undertaking will begin to implement the policies outlined in the president's trade-policy agenda, to make trade work for American families."

Kirk said the report and USTR's swift action will help U.S. economic recovery efforts, primarily by making incremental gains in market access and reducing trade barriers in order to create good-paying jobs for more Americans.

Among the trade barriers that USTR will seek to reduce include bans on beef that are "not based in science and not compliant with international standards."

Source: USTR, Meatingplace.com