The Office of the United States Trade Representative ("USTR") has released President Obama's 2011 Trade Policy Agenda ("Agenda") – an annual publication of the Administration's trade policy priorities in the coming year. The Agenda, released in March, names the following priorities for 2011.
Enhance American Economic Growth and Employment. The Agenda highlights various areas of focus for 2011 aimed to increase U.S. employment and trade opportunities, including the U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement ("KORUS"), the Trans-Pacific Partnership, participation in the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Forum, the WTO Doha Round negotiations, and Russia's accession into the WTO.
Enforce America's Rights and Protect Innovation in a Strong, Rules-Based Trading System. The Agenda discusses goals related to enforcing U.S. rights and benefits under existing international trade agreements, including continuing active participation in the WTO and regional trade agreement dispute settlement systems; emphasizing environmental and labor issues in negotiations with trading partners; ensuring compliance with international scientific guidelines; and protecting U.S. innovation through enforcement of intellectual property rights.
Strengthen Trade Relationships with Global Partners. The Agenda describes U.S. efforts in all regions of the world to deepen existing trade relationships and also focuses on new key markets in which to expand trade relationships through formal trade agreements and other mechanisms.
Partner with Poor and Developing Countries on Trade and Development Issues. The Agenda discusses goals for 2011 to promote policies that utilize international trade as a component of development policy. Specifically, the Agenda calls for cooperation with Congress in securing re-authorization of the General System of Preferences and the Andean Trade Preference Act, continued commitment to provide duty-free and quota-free market access to least developed countries, continued support for trade programs benefiting countries affected by natural disaster, and general support for creating public-private partnerships on the issue of trade and development.
Reflect and Uphold American Values in Trade Policy. Finally, the Agenda reaffirms President Obama's commitment to ensuring that American values are respected and incorporated into the nation's trade policies. This includes assigning high priority to labor and environmental protections, continuing and expanding transparency and public engagement in negotiations and trade policy generally, and securing long-term approval for the Trade Adjustment Assistance program.