President Obama’s 2016 Trade Policy Agenda: Trade that Serves the American People

Trade Agenda highlights the economic benefits of the landmark TPP agreement, including the more than 18,000 tax cuts on Made-in-America exports

March 2, 2016 Washington, D.C. – Today, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative released President Obama’s 2016 Trade Policy Agenda. Throughout this Administration, we have sought to level the playing field for American workers, raise global trade standards, and enforce U.S. trade rights to promote economic growth, strengthen the American middle class, and support well-paying jobs at home.

“The President’s trade agenda is focused on supporting U.S. jobs and raising wages,” said U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman.“Over the past seven years, the Administration has fought hard to open the largest and fastest-growing markets to U.S. exports, most notably in the Asia-Pacific. Our efforts have helped position more Americans to compete—and win—in tomorrow’s global economy.”

The 2016 Trade Agenda outlines key priorities in the United States bilateral and multilateral trade and investment relationships, including the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which will cut over 18,000 taxes on Made-in-America exports, support more high-paying U.S. jobs, and promote both our interests and our values. It also highlights our efforts to conclude the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, the Environmental Goods Agreement, the Trade in Services Agreement, and work to strengthen our trade and investment ties with countries and regional partners around the world.

Finally, the report provides an overview of major trade accomplishments under President Obama’s leadership, including:

  • Improving and securing passage of the Korea, Colombia, and Panama FTAs;
  • Bringing 20 enforcement cases at the WTO, more than any other country;
  • Working with Congress to update and renew bipartisan Trade Promotion Authority, and extending and improving Trade Adjustment Assistance;
  • Renewing the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) program and the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) to promote developing in Africa and elsewhere;
  • And expanding the Information Technology Agreement, concluding the Trade Facilitation Agreement and rejuvenating the WTO negotiating process.

The Office of the United States Trade Representative is the lead agency responsible for the development and implementation of the President’s Trade Policy Agenda, which it sends in conjunction with the Annual Report on trade developments over the past year.

To read the 2016 Trade Policy Agenda, please click here.

Senate Agriculture Committee Passes Chairman’s Mark on Biotechnology Labeling Solutions

March 1, 2016 WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senator Pat Roberts, R-Kan., Chairman of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry, today held a business meeting where the Chairman’s Mark on Biotechnology Labeling Solutions was favorably reported with a bipartisan vote of 14-6.

The legislation, which creates a national solution for a state-by-state patchwork of biotechnology labeling laws, now heads to the full Senate for consideration. Chairman Roberts will continue to work toward a final solution that wins approval on the Senate floor.

“It is clear that what we’re facing today is not a safety or health issue. It is a market issue,” said Chairman Roberts. “This is really a conversation about a few states dictating to every state the way food moves from farmers to consumers in the value chain. We have a responsibility to ensure that the national market can work for everyone, including farmers, manufacturers, retailers, and consumers.”

“The Chairman’s Mark puts forward policies that will help consumers not only find information, but also demand information from manufacturers. However, it is important, as with any federal legislation on this topic, for Congress to consider scientific fact and unintended consequences.”

“Simply put, the legislation before us provides an immediate and comprehensive solution to the state-by-state patchwork of labeling laws. It sets national uniformity, based on science, for labeling food or seeds that are genetically engineered. This allows the value chain from farmer-to-processor-to-shipper-to-retailer-to-consumer to continue as the free market intended.”

The legislation has the support of more than 650 farmers, cooperatives, agribusinesses, processors, seed makers, handlers, food and feed manufacturers, lenders, and retailers.

The U.S. House of Representatives last July passed legislation on this topic with a bipartisan vote of 275-150.

The Senate Agriculture Committee last October held a hearing on agriculture biotechnology with federal regulators and perspectives from producers and consumers – the first biotechnology hearing in 10 years. The hearing focused on science and the role of the regulatory system to help ensure a safe and affordable food supply for consumers at home and around the globe.

To read the legislation and to watch the hearing, click here.