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Trade Responsibilities in the Executive Branch Marideth J. Sandler Sandler Trade LLC.

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Presentation on theme: "Trade Responsibilities in the Executive Branch Marideth J. Sandler Sandler Trade LLC."— Presentation transcript:

1 Trade Responsibilities in the Executive Branch Marideth J. Sandler Sandler Trade LLC

2 International consulting firm whose goal is to make international trade really happen We offer embassies, companies, and other clients strategic advisory services to expand regional and global export penetration Multinational team with proven policy, trade data, regulatory, advocacy, and research experience. USTR grad, Fair Trade, market links, trade shows, microfinance, artisan-focus 1

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5 4 Executive Office of the President: NSC, USTR, OMB, NEC, etc. Executive Branch

6 In 1934, U.S. Congress delegated to the President (POTUS) foreign trade authority. National Security Council (NSC) helps POTUS oversee trade and many other areas. Congress then delegated to POTUS authority to negotiate agreements to reduce tariffs within pre-approved levels. President delegated to the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) development and coordination of U.S. international trade, commodity, and direct investment policies; and oversight of negotiations with other countries. 5

7 U.S. Trade Representative (Kirk) leads USTR. The USTR is an Ambassador and Cabinet member who serves as President’s principal trade advisor, negotiator, and spokesperson. National Security Council (NSC) helps POTUS oversee trade. USTR is in the Executive Office of the President. Through an interagency structure (TPRG & TPSC), USTR coordinates trade policy, resolves disagreements, and frames issues for presidential decision. 5

8 Free Trade Agreements (FTAs): w/ 17 countries Trade and Investment Framework Agreements (TIFAs): 47 TIFAs Generalized System of Preferences (GSP), African Growth & Opportunity Act (AGOA), Caribbean Basin Initiative (CBI), Andean Trade Promotion Act (ATPA) Special 301 (Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) Review): Notorious Markets (>30), Priority Watch List (PWL): 12 countries, Watch List (WL): 29 countries. Bilateral Investment Treaties (BIT): with 40 countries Consultation with 28 appointed industry and special interest advisory groups: ACTPN, APAC, ITACs, LAC Issues Federal Register Notices (FRNs) 6

9 Mission: make U.S. businesses more innovative at home and more competitive abroad Comprised of 12 different agencies (weather, patents, exports, fish management, textiles) Key trade agencies: – Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) – International Trade Administration (ITA) – Patent & Trademark Office (PTO) – U.S. Census Bureau (Census) 7

10 Manufacturing and Services – U.S. industry competitiveness – Global market access (trade policy & negotiation) – Expand exports (National Export Initiative (NEI)) – Advisory committee system (ITACs) Market Access and Compliance (MAC) – IPR, quotas, standards, customs, trade agreements – Trade Compliance Ctr; Africa/Mid East/S. Asia offices – Rule of law in business program (Good Governance) Import Administration (IA) – Enforce trade laws & agreements (textiles & apparel, AD, CVD, steel import monitoring, FTZs) 9

11 Department of State (DOS) Department of Agriculture (USDA) Department of Treasury (Treas) Department of Labor (DOL) Ex-Officio: U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC or ITC): an independent agency – Administers U.S. trade laws within its mandate – Provides U.S. export and import data/Maintain Harmonized U.S. Tariff Code (HTSUS) – Does independent trade studies pertinent to FTAs, regulatory decisions, tariffs, U.S. competitiveness 10

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13 Usually a country requests an FTA; can be an industry or ITAC, too Interagency consensus (impacts of a comprehensive FTA, etc.) President informs Congress of intent to negotiate, followed by a waiting period of 30 days (per TPA) During waiting period: USITC report; Hill & advisory committee consultations; public comments Administration prepares and internally approves proposed text; shares with Congress & advisory committees Once FTA negotiations are concluded: announcement, legal scrub, signing Getting the FTAs through Congress: “little to do with agreement substance and everything to do with U.S. politics” During course of FTA negotiation and especially after signing, Embassy and private sector associations lobby extensively on Hill 12

14 “While delegating some authority, Congress in no way surrendered its trade authority.” Ask questions – you’ll find out more than just the answer you are seeking. Meet your deadlines. Keep current: e-newsletters (agencies and companies), Facebook and twitter. Know which agency really is in charge of a responsibility (despite what others may say). What you see is not always what it is, so…. Keep asking questions and solicit opinions. 13

15 In a 1994 Gallup poll, 38 percent of Americans thought trade was a threat to the U.S. economy. In 2012, Gallup polling indicates that number has risen to 52 percent. Last year, the United States passed three Free Trade Agreements, including South Korea, Colombia, and Panama. According to a National Journal poll, 38 percent supported the accords, while 41 percent opposed them. A full 21 percent of voters did not know enough to answer or refused to say. – Analysis: During times of economic downturns, Americans typically became more negative. Buzzwords like “outsourcing” are now commonplace in political talk. 11

16 In 2008, Mr. Obama campaigned against NAFTA saying he would “reform” or “transform” it. “Our country can benefit from trade, but I will insist on a trade policy that will work for all Americans. That means opening markets abroad and including enforceable labor and environmental standards in free-trade agreements.” “I think that we need to enforce our trade agreements more effectively.” NAFTA was not changed, but there are more filings that seek enforcement of current FTAs. 11

17 Republicans do the same thing. In 2002, Mr. Romney supported free trade, but has now adopted a tough line on some countries. Some countries are “stealing our intellectual property – our patents, our designs, our know- how, our brand names,” Candidate Romney has stated. “A trade war,” he has said, “is the last thing I want, but I cannot tolerate our current trade surrender.” 11


19 Glossary of Acronyms: us/trade-toolbox/glossary-trade-terms us/trade-toolbox/glossary-trade-terms U.S. Trade Representative (has e-newsletter) – – releases/2011/september/ustr-press-office-week-ahead- september-18-25 releases/2011/september/ustr-press-office-week-ahead- september-18-25 Department of Commerce: U.S. International Trade Commission: Congressional Research Service: Guide to U.S. Government: Other:,, 14

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