News of Note
USTR Announces Accomplishments In Reducing Trade Barriers
On April 1, acting USTR Demetrios Marantis sent to President Obama the 2013 National Trade Estimate Report on Foreign Trade Barriers ("NTE"), the Report on Sanitary and Phytosanitary Barriers to Trade ("SPS Report"), and the Report on Technical Barriers to Trade ("TBT Report"). The reports review progress in 2012 and challenges for 2013 "to ensure a level playing field for U.S. goods and services in markets around the world."
The NTE's series of country reports review foreign laws and practices that negatively affect U.S. trade. For example, it notes an expansion in trading rights for foreign enterprises in China while raising concern over continued barriers in intellectual property protections, among others. The report on the European Union ("EU") indicates issues that will impact the upcoming U.S.-EU Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership negotiations, such as its subsidies for aircraft manufacturing.
The SPS Report focuses on barriers to agriculture exports, while the TBT Report considers measures that impact manufacturers in sectors from telecommunications (which is the focus of a stand-alone report) to biotechnology to green energy. Efforts in this latter area support the President's National Export Initiative to double U.S. exports by the end of 2014.