U.S. Global Trade Actions, 2011 — Long List, But How Effective?

     The USTR recently released in December 2011 a list of trade actions taken by the United States during 2011. Rom Kirk declared, “In 2011, the Obama Administration achieved unprecedented results on trade.” Really? The following is an itemization of the major actions listed by the USTR:
.. National Export Initiative (NEI).
.. nited States-Korea Free Trade Agreement (KORUS FTA).
.. United States-Colombia trade agreement.
.. United States-Panama trade agreement.
.. Streamlined Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA).
.. Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).
.. Revise the text of the GPA.
.. Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA).
.. Completion of Russia’s negotiations for Membership in the WTO.
.. Transatlantic Economic Council.
.. Winning at the WTO against EU Subsidies to Airbus.
.. Successfully defending U.S. aerospace manufacturers against EU claims.
.. Winning a WTO panel decision indicating China must ensure access to raw materials.
.. China terminated a wind power equipment subsidy program.
.. Challenging Chinese duties on U.S. chicken broiler products.
.. Requesting the establishment of a panel at the WTO over China’s restrictions on foreign suppliers of electronic payment services (EPS).
.. Successfully defending action taken by President Obama under the China specific safeguard mechanism.
It would be instructive to assess the empirical impact of these actions to determine how effective they actually are in promoting U.S. and global trade. The issue of resolving China’s currency valuation issue is not listed anywhere. That’s because it hasn’t been resolved. Perhaps, next year.
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About Stuart Malawer

Distinguished Service Professor of Law & International Trade at George Mason University (School of Public Policy).
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