USTR Ron Kirk lists problems, potential to open foreign markets

By Agri-Pulse Staff

© Copyright Agri-Pulse Communications, Inc.

Washington, April 7 – U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk sent his 2010 National Trade Estimate (NTE) to Congress last week, listing barriers to U.S. trade and investment faced in the last year as well as some of the actions being taken by the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) to open markets. To back up the USTR case for needed changes, Ambassador Kirk included first-ever reports on “Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures” and “Technical Barriers” which block U.S. agricultural producers’ and manufacturers’ access to markets. For example, mandatory labeling of biotech was featured as a technical barrier:

“A growing number of markets around the world either require or have proposed mandatory retail labeling for food products that contain or are derived from biotechnology.  The mandatory nature of these regimes has impeded or, in some cases, completely blocked U.S. exports of such food products to several countries.  The mandatory labeling of these food products negatively affects trade, because it affects consumers' impressions of the products, and has unnecessarily increased costs for consumers and industry stakeholders.”

For links to the three USTR reports and other materials on trade barriers, go to: To read the complete 404-page 2010 National Trade Estimate Report on Foreign Trade Barriers, go to:

For the 114-page “Technical Barriers to Trade report, go to:

For the 101-page Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures report, go to:

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