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USTR Seeks Public Comments on Possible Changes to Product List in EU – Beef Hormones Dispute


U.S. Trade Representative Susan C. Schwab announced on October 31 that USTR is seeking public comment on the possible modification of the list of European products subject to increased tariffs in connection with WTO dispute settlement rulings in the EU – Beef Hormones dispute.  Any such modification could involve the products subject to increased duties, the level of increased duties, or the EU member States whose products are subject to the duties.  USTR is particularly interested in comments addressed to the effects on U.S. small- or medium-size businesses or on consumers of imposing higher duties on particular products.  

View USTR press release


WTO Appellate Body Finds in Favor of U.S. Challenge of Indian Duties on Wine, Spirits and Other Products

On October 30, U.S. Trade Representative Susan C. Schwab announced that the WTO Appellate Body has found in favor of the United States in its challenge against India’s additional and extra-additional duties on wine, spirits and other agricultural and manufactured products. India imposed these duties on U.S. imports in addition to and on top of its basic customs duty, resulting in combined duties on imports of alcoholic beverages (beer, wine and spirits) of up to 550 percent. India argued that the duties were permitted because they simply offset certain internal taxes (such as value-added taxes). The Appellate Body reversed the panel, which had found that any import charge offsetting an internal tax need only “serve the same function” as the internal tax and need not be equivalent in amount to that internal tax. In reversing the panel, the Appellate Body agreed with the United States that any import charges aimed at offsetting internal taxes cannot result in a higher amount being charged to imports than to like domestic products.

View USTR press release


Gutierrez Releases Report on Impact of Litigation Environment on Attracting Foreign Investment

On October 29, Commerce Secretary Carlos M. Gutierrez released a report on the U.S. litigation environment and trends in foreign direct investment (FDI) flows into America during the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s 9th Annual Legal Reform Summit. “In the wake of economic challenges, it is important that America remains open and does not retreat into economic isolationism,” Gutierrez said. “Open markets and free trade make our country the number one destination for global capital, which drives innovation, exports and jobs here at home.” The report notes that high litigation costs impact America’s ability to compete and recommends sustained efforts to bring these costs in line with those of other nations. It also highlights the pressing need for additional economic research on the impact of a litigious society on a country’s ability to attract FDI.

View Commerce press release on report

View text of Secretary Gutierrez’s remarks


Commerce Deputy Secretary Sullivan Kicks Off U.S.-Georgia Business Summit

On October 27, Deputy Secretary of Commerce John J. Sullivan opened the first U.S.-Georgia Business Summit before more than 180 participants. Deputy Secretary Sullivan reaffirmed America’s commitment to support Georgia’s democracy, territorial integrity and security, stating, “We stand by Georgia.” This commitment is reflected in America’s actions, including a multi-year $1 billion commitment of economic assistance announced by President Bush in September. Among the objectives of the trip is to encourage bilateral trade ties between Georgia and the United States. While trade with Georgia was nearly $600 million last year, Sullivan said, “There is tremendous potential for growth in our bilateral trading relationship.”

View text of Sullivan’s remarks


USTR Releases Korea – United States Free Trade Agreement Fact Sheets

View a series of fact sheets released by USTR regarding the Korea-United States Free Trade Agreement (KORUS FTA).

The KORUS FTA and the States

The Case for the KORUS Free Trade Agreement

KORUS FTA: Opportunities for Automotive Exports

KORUS FTA: New Opportunities for Financial Services

KORUS FTA: New Opportunities for Agriculture

KORUS FTA: New Opportunities for U.S. Manufacturers


Secretary Gutierrez Announces Launch of Interagency Web Site

Secretary of Commerce Carlos M. Gutierrez took questions from the public concerning the current U.S. economy and announced a new interagency Web site led by the Commerce Department in an Interactive online forum, “Ask the White House,” on October 24. The new Web site,, is a resource for the latest information from government agencies on America’s economic recovery for people to keep their homes, find jobs and protect their savings.

View Ask the White House transcript


Partial Re-Allocation of FY 2008 Tariff Rate Quota for Refined Sugar

On October 27, USTR announced a re-allocation of a portion of the FY 2008 tariff-rate quota (TRQ) for refined sugar. TRQs allow countries to export specified quantities of a product at a relatively low tariff, but subject all imports of the product above those quantities to a higher tariff. USTR is therefore re-allocating the 68,278 MTRV portion to the global refined sugar TRQ allocation, which may be supplied by any country on a first-come, first-served basis, subject to any other provision of law. The re-allocation will take effect upon publication of a Federal Register notice by the USTR.

View USTR press release


USTR Announces Staff Promotions, Reorganization

View the text of an October 24 USTR press release regarding staff promotions and some organizational changes.


Commerce Secretary Gutierrez Praises Panama’s Role in New Pathways to Prosperity in the Americas Initiative

In remarks to the U.S.-Panama Business Council on October 23, U.S. Commerce Secretary Carlos M. Gutierrez noted that Panama is an important friend, ally and trading partner. “We are very pleased that Panama has agreed to host the first Ministerial in December,” Gutierrez said. In his remarks, he discussed the potential for increased U.S.-Panama trade and investment, citing Panama’s high growth rate and the pending U.S.-Panama free trade agreement. The Secretary noted that the United States is Panama’s number one export market, with 36 percent of its total exports coming into the United States. In 2007, U.S.-Panama bilateral trade totaled $4.1 billion, up from nearly $3.1 billion in 2006.

View Commerce press release


Commerce Secretary Gutierrez Applauds New Opportunities for U.S.–India Clean Energy Partnerships

In his remarks to the U.S.-India Business Council “Green India” Summit on October 15, Secretary of Commerce Carlos M. Gutierrez said that India has the potential to be one of the world’s largest clean energy markets, noting that clean energy technologies have moved to the forefront of India’s energy infrastructure and investment opportunities. U.S. companies produce world-class clean energy technologies, Gutierrez said, and the United States is committed to being India’s partner in providing clean, sustainable energy. Noting that India will have a reliable fuel supply for its civilian reactors after President Bush signed the landmark U.S.-India nuclear cooperation bill, the Secretary stated, “The U.S. will gain access to a growing market for civilian nuclear technologies.”

View text of Secretary Gutierrez’s remarks


WTO’s Appellate Body Vindicates U.S. Imposition of Sanctions After EU Claimed Compliance in Hormones Dispute

On October 16, U.S. Trade Representative Susan C. Schwab announced that the WTO Appellate Body has concluded that the United States did not violate its WTO obligations by maintaining additional duties on certain EU products after the EU claimed it had come into compliance by amending its ban on beef from animals treated with growth-promoting hormones. Schwab commented, “The Appellate Body’s report confirms that WTO Members that are subject to additional duties for failing to bring themselves into compliance with the WTO’s rulings and recommendations must do more than simply claim compliance in order to obtain relief from such duties.” The Appellate Body also concluded that because the Panel made certain legal errors in its analysis of the scientific basis for the EU’s amended ban, the question of whether the EU’s amended ban is WTO-consistent remains open. The dispute over the EU ban on beef from animals administered certain growth promoting hormones dates back to 1996 and is one of the longest-standing disputes in the history of the WTO.

View USTR press release


United States and Singapore Hold Fourth Annual Free Trade Agreement Review

View the text of the USTR press release regarding the fourth annual United States-Singapore Free Trade Agreement (FTA) review, held October 10. During the review, the two sides applauded the continued growth in their trade and investment relations since the FTA came into force on January 1, 2004, and the close cooperation on ASEAN, APEC and WTO issues that the agreement has helped to foster. This annual process provided an opportunity to review formally issues related to the implementation of the agreement, following up on discussions between the two sides throughout the past year. At the meeting, the two sides discussed how to address issues and concerns related to market access for agricultural and textile products, intellectual property rights and telecommunications, and environmental cooperation. The U.S.-Singapore FTA also serves as a foundation for broader cooperation between the two countries on regional and multilateral bases. The announcement by the United States on September 22, 2008 of its intention to launch negotiations on the terms of its participation in the Trans-Pacific Strategic Economic Partnership Agreement, of which Singapore is a founding member, is only the most recent example of this expanding partnership.


USTR Statement on Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement

View the text of USTR’s October 10 statement regarding the October 8-9 discussions in Tokyo regarding the proposed Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA). During their discussions, the participants reaffirmed their goal to combat global infringements of intellectual property rights, particularly in the context of counterfeiting and piracy. They will work to accomplish this by increasing international cooperation, strengthening the framework of practices that contribute to effective enforcement, and strengthening relevant IPR enforcement measures themselves. The participants also focused on criminal enforcement of IPR, and continued their previous discussions of civil enforcement of IPR.


USITC Finds U.S. Beef Exports Constrained by Inconsistent Animal Health, Food Safety Measures

According to a U.S. International Trade Commission report, Global Beef Trade: Effects of Animal Health, Sanitary, Food Safety, and Other Measures on U.S. Beef Exports, U.S. beef processors and beef cattle ranchers lose billions of dollars in export opportunities each year because of animal health and food safety measures in other countries that are inconsistent with international standards and vary by country. Animal health and food safety regulations in Japan and Korea accounted for most of the export losses over the period, according to the report. Many countries restricted imports of U.S. beef following the 2003 discovery of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) in a dairy cow of Canadian origin in the U.S. cattle herd. These restrictions resulted in significant losses in exports and industry revenues over the period studied. The effect of identified animal health and food safety regulations on U.S. beef exports outweighed the effects of tariffs and TRQs over the period studied.

View USITC press release


Secretary Gutierrez Announces DOC Civil Nuclear Trade Initiative to Promote U.S. Nuclear Industry Sales Abroad

In his remarks at the Nuclear Energy Summit on October 8, Commerce Secretary Carlos M. Gutierrez said, “Nuclear power can play a leading role in building a secure, sustainable energy future for our county and creating jobs and opportunities for our citizens.” Noting the importance of exports to U.S. economic growth, Gutierrez said that through the Civil Nuclear Trade Initiative, the Commerce Department can be a partner in the nuclear renaissance by helping to open international markets for America’s world-class nuclear technologies. The Civil Nuclear Trade Initiative consists of: a Nuclear Industry Trade Advisory Committee; a Nuclear Energy Working Group with the Trade Promotion Coordinating Committee; Commerce Department/State Department/Energy Department cooperation to promote U.S. nuclear technology for the first time at the recent International Atomic Energy Agency general meeting in Vienna; and organizing future civil nuclear trade missions.

View Commerce press release


Secretary Gutierrez Travels to Brazil for Third U.S.-Brazil CEO Forum

On October 6, Commerce Secretary Carlos M. Gutierrez announced that he will chair the U.S.-Brazil Commercial Dialogue Ministerial Meeting and co-chair the third meeting of the U.S.-Brazil CEO Forum with Assistant to the President for International Economic Affairs Dan Price in Sao Paulo, October 9-10, 2008. Gutierrez will discuss ways to strengthen the U.S.-Brazil economic relationship between senior government officials and business leaders from both nations. Total trade between the United States and Brazil was $50.3 billion in 2007, an increase of 10 percent from the previous year. U.S. exports to Brazil in 2007 were $24.6 billion, an increase of 28 percent from the previous year; the United States imported $25.6 billion in goods from Brazil in 2007.

View Commerce press release


Ambassador Schwab Praises Trade Preference Extension, Calls for FTA Passage

In an October 3 statement, U.S. Trade Representative Susan C. Schwab praised the recent extension of the Andean Trade Preference Act (ATPA) and the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP), and called upon Congress to go a step further and approve the Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) with Colombia, Panama and Korea. Noting that the extension of the ATPA and GSP only represents the “import side,” Ambassador Schwab stated, “The House and Senate now need to take up the issues facing American exports, and create a level playing field for American goods and services sold abroad.” She added, “For the past four quarters, exports have accounted for almost two-thirds of our economic growth. Opening markets around the world to U.S. goods and services can only help boost our economy and create new, and higher-paying jobs.”


United States and Uruguay Sign Two Protocols to Bilateral Trade and Investment Framework Agreement


On October 2, the governments of the United States and Uruguay signed two protocols to their bilateral Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA).  The protocols, which were signed by Uruguayan Minister of Foreign Affairs Gonzalo Fernández and Assistant U.S. Trade Representative Everett Eissenstat, cover substantive commitments in the areas of trade facilitation and public participation in trade and environment. Both governments pledged continued cooperation in these areas, and dialogue also progresses under the TIFA work program.  This ongoing dialogue may result in the conclusion of additional protocols in the future. In addition to concluding the two protocols, the United States and Uruguay signed a Memorandum of Understanding to advance cooperation on renewable energy and energy efficiency. The United States and Uruguay signed the United States – Uruguay TIFA on January 25, 2007.  

View USTR press release


Commerce Deputy Secretary to Host U.S.-Georgia Business Summit in Tbilisi

On October 2, the Commerce Department announced that Deputy Secretary John Sullivan will host the U.S.-Georgia Business Summit in Tbilisi, Georgia, October 27, 2008, on the occasion of a DOC-certified trade mission to Georgia the week of October 26-28, 2008. U.S. and Georgian business leaders and senior officials will attend the summit on Monday, October 27, which will highlight U.S. resources for expanding trade and investment with Georgia and opportunities in the country’s growth sectors. “The World Bank ranks Georgia 15th out of 181 countries for ease of doing business,” Sullivan said. “This emerging economy offers U.S. businesses the opportunity to expand into a dynamic and business-friendly market eager to work with U.S. partners.”


USTR Announces Agreement on Extension of Time for Costa Rica to Join CAFTA-DR

On October 1, U.S. Trade Representative Susan C. Schwab announced that the United States and its five CAFTA-DR partners (the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua) reached an agreement that will provide more time for Costa Rica to join the Dominican Republic – Central America – United States Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA-DR). Schwab stated that while Costa Rica has already made “considerable progress… (it) needs more time to adopt necessary implementing legislation before the CAFTA-DR can enter into force for Costa Rica.” The agreement gives Costa Rica until January 1, 2009 to complete its implementing process. She added that the USG “will continue to work closely with the Costa Rican government to ensure it completes the appropriate implementing measures.” The CAFTA-DR is now in force for all signatories, except Costa Rica.

View USTR press release


Schwab Announces Proposed Suspension of Bolivia’s Tariff Benefits

On September 26, U.S. Trade Representative Susan C. Schwab announced that President Bush has directed her to publish in the Federal Register a notice of his proposed action to suspend Bolivia’s designation as a beneficiary country under the Andean Trade Preference Act (ATPA) and the Andean Trade Promotion and Drug Eradication Act (ATPDEA). Bolivia’s demonstrable failure to cooperate in counternarcotics efforts over the past 12 months indicates that Bolivia is not meeting important criteria for benefits under the ATPA and ATPDEA tariff preference programs. She indicated that the suspension “could be lifted as soon as the Bolivian government improves its performance under the ATPA and ATPDEA criteria.”

View USTR press release


Public Comments on Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement

View comments made by associations and companies (including the American Library Association, Consumer Electronics Association, Yahoo! Inc., and Intel) regarding the proposed Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA). They are submitting additional comments regarding the possible inclusion of an abbreviated form of the Digital Millenium Copyright Act (DMCA) into ACTA, as they believe that including this, or any provision of the DMCA, in the Agreement in the first place is “ill-advised.” However, if the parties decide to incorporate Section 512 of the DMCA, the companies and associations submitting these comments strongly encourage USTR to adhere closely to the DMCA safe harbor language contained in prior FTAs. They stated, “Removing or altering the substantive provisions of the DMCA could result in significant unintended consequences to U.S. law.”


Gutierrez Set to Lead Trade Mission to the Dominican Republic and Costa Rica

In advance of his September 28-October 2 business development mission to the Dominican Republic and Costa Rica, Secretary of Commerce Carlos M. Gutierrez authored an opinion editorial in Diario Extra, Costa Rica’s daily newspaper. He wrote, “Democracies like ours with a history of political stability, social progress and a commitment to human rights will benefit the most from free trade and increased investment.” The Secretary added, “Today, tens of thousands of Costa Ricans work for U.S. companies, yet even more American companies will want do business here and more Costa Ricans will participate in the U.S. market with a free trade agreement in place. We have seen these mutually reinforcing positive trends elsewhere in CAFTA-DR where trade both with the United States and between the other CAFTA-DR members is growing.”


President Bush Discusses Free Trade with Western Hemisphere Leaders

Following his remarks to the United Nations General Assembly the previous day, President Bush joined Western Hemisphere leaders at the Council of the Americas on September 24 to discuss the importance of free trade to our region’s growth and prosperity. He said, “It’s important for the American people to understand that exports benefit workers. Half of our growth last year was the result of trade. And therefore, it’s in our interest to continue to open up markets, particularly in our own neighborhood.”

View transcript of President Bush’s speech


United States and Uruguay Continue to Advance Trade Relationship

On September 23, U.S. Trade Representative Susan Schwab met with Uruguayan Foreign Minister Gonzalo Fernandez in New York City to discuss progress made under the U.S.-Uruguayan Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA). Ambassador Schwab stated that she is “…pleased with the strong progress that has been achieved since the TIFA was signed in January 2007,” while Minister Fernandez called the TIFA “… an efficient instrument in setting concrete initiatives on specific trade and investment matters.” In implementing the TIFA, both parties reconfirmed their commitment to expand economic opportunities between Uruguay and the United States while simultaneously coordinating their efforts to promote greater trade liberalization through the WTO.

View USTR press release


Trans-Pacific Partners and United States Launch FTA Negotiations


On September 22, U.S. Trade Representative Susan C. Schwab and Ministers of the Trans-Pacific Strategic Economic Partnership Agreement (representing Brunei, Chile, New Zealand and Singapore) met in New York City to announce the launch of negotiations for the United States to join the comprehensive Trans-Pacific Strategic Economic Partnership Agreement. In their discussions, the Ministers emphasized the importance of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement as a vehicle for Trans-Pacific-wide economic integration.  This regional agreement sets a high standard that will enhance the competitiveness of the countries that are part of it and help facilitate trade and promote investment between them, increasing their economic growth and development. The Trans-Pacific Partners welcomed the addition of the United States as a significant step forward in advancing this goal. Ambassador Schwab commented, “This initiative… will help strengthen the United States’ competitiveness and generate growth and prosperity in the years ahead.” The Trans-Pacific Partnership members also noted that discussions are underway with other countries that have expressed interest in potentially joining the Agreement. The Ministers reaffirmed their commitment to a successful conclusion to the WTO Doha negotiations and underscored that by promoting increased trade liberalization through a high-standard agreement, the Agreement will support continued ambition in the Doha round. 

View USTR press release

View Trans-Pacific Strategic Economic Partnership fact sheet



Statement by Secretary Gutierrez after Meeting with Georgian Minister of Economic Development

In a September 19 press release regarding the visit of Georgian Minister of Economic Development Ekaterine Sharashidze, Commerce Secretary Commerce Carlos M. Gutierrez stated, “The United States is supporting Georgia’s efforts to rebuild and strengthen its economy.” He added, “We are committed to ensuring that the democratic and economic gains that Georgia has made over the past several years are not lost.” Meanwhile, the Commerce Department announced that Deputy Secretary of Commerce John Sullivan will participate in a Commerce-certified trade mission to Tbilisi, Georgia, where he will a host a U.S.-Georgia Business Summit on October 27, 2008. At the Summit, U.S. companies will be able to develop new business opportunities and learn how to participate in reconstruction projects in Georgia.


Notice Regarding 2008 Annual Review for Acceptance of GSP Product and Country Practices Petitions

USTR has received petitions in connection with the 2008 GSP Annual Review to modify the list of products that are eligible for duty-free treatment under the GSP program and to modify the GSP status of certain GSP beneficiary developing countries because of country practices. This notice announces the product petitions, other than those requesting competitive need limitation (CNL) waivers, and country practice petitions accepted in previous GSP annual reviews that continue to be under review in the 2008 GSP Annual Review, and sets forth the schedule for comment and public hearings on these petitions, for requesting participation in the hearings, and for submitting pre- and post-hearing briefs. Information on submitting pre-hearing briefs is included in this Federal Register notice, as well as a schedule for the 2008 annual review. The due date for submitting pre-hearing briefs and requesting to appear at the GSP Subcommittee public hearing is October 3, 2008.

View list of accepted petitions


China and United States Convene 25th Anniversary JCCT in California

U.S. Commerce Secretary Carlos M. Gutierrez and U.S. Trade Representative Susan C. Schwab, together with Chinese Vice Premier Wang Qishan, convened the 19th U.S. – China Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade (JCCT) at the Richard M. Nixon Presidential Library and Museum in Yorba Linda, California on September 16. Regarding intellectual property rights, the United States and China agreed to sign two memoranda of understanding on strategic cooperation to improve the administration and effectiveness of copyright and trademark protection and enforcement, and welcomed plans to conduct further cooperative meetings on several issues, including pharmaceutical data protection, inter alia. China clarified that its formal and informal policies related to software purchases by all Chinese private and state-owned enterprises will be based solely on market terms without government direction. On medical devices, AQSIQ and SFDA jointly announced they will only require one test, one report, one fee and one factory inspection, and agreed to hold discussions with the U.S. Government and relevant stakeholders regarding China’s tendering policies to ensure the process is fair and transparent. With respect to its accession to the WTO Government Procurement Agreement (GPA), China submitted to the WTO its responses to the Checklist of Issues on September 15, 2008. China affirmed its plan to submit an improved offer to the WTO as soon as possible.

View JCCT outcomes press release

View JCCT 25th anniversary fact sheet


Notice Regarding 2008 Annual Review of Andean Trade Preference Act

View the text of USTR’s Federal Register notice
announcing the 2008 Annual Review of the Andean Trade Preference Act (ATPA). Under this process, petitions may be filed calling for the limitation, withdrawal or suspension of ATPA or ATPDEA benefits by presenting evidence that the eligibility criteria of the program are not being met. USTR will publish a list of petitions filed in response to this announcement in the Federal Register. The deadline for the submission of petitions for the 2008 Annual ATPA Review is September 15, 2008. Petitions should be submitted via email to


Gutierrez and Schwab Announce 25th Anniversary Meeting of the U.S.-China JCCT

On August 15, Secretary of Commerce Carlos M. Gutierrez and U.S. Trade Representative Susan C. Schwab announced that the 19th session of the U.S.-China Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade (JCCT) will be held the week of September 15th, 2008, at the Richard Nixon Library & Birthplace Foundation in Yorba Linda, California. This JCCT session will be co-chaired on the U.S. side by Schwab and Gutierrez and on the Chinese side by Vice Premier Wang Qishan. Secretary of Agriculture Edward T. Schafer will also participate in the meetings. Commenting on the JCCT, Secretary Gutierrez stated, “We have a strong interest in working with China to address the wide range of trade and economic issues that affect the lives of American workers, businesses, and farmers.” Recent accomplishments of the JCCT include China’s commitment to take steps to combat trade in counterfeit drugs and to reduce the regulatory burdens for medical devices imported into China, which U.S. industry estimates will save tens of millions of dollars.


USITC Releases The Year in Trade 2007

The U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC) released The Year in Trade 2007, its annual overview of the previous year's trade-related activities, on August 4. The report is one of the government's most comprehensive reports of U.S. trade-related activities, covering major multilateral, regional, and bilateral developments. The publication provides a practical review of U.S. international trade laws and actions in 2007, a summary of WTO operations, and an overview of U.S. free trade agreements and negotiations and of U.S. bilateral trade relations with major trading partners. It includes complete listings of antidumping, countervailing duty, safeguard, intellectual property rights infringement, and section 301 cases undertaken by the U.S. government in 2007. Statistical tables highlight U.S. bilateral trade with major trading partners and trade under U.S. trade preference programs. In addition, data on U.S. private services trade are included in this edition of the report.

View USITC press release


Gutierrez Calls U.S.-Colombia Free Trade Agreement a “Win-Win for Both Countries”

On August 12, Secretary of Commerce Carlos M. Gutierrez responded to questions submitted by the public in “Ask the White House,” an online, interactive forum. The Secretary took questions, explaining the purpose and benefits of a free trade agreement, particularly those pending with Colombia, Panama and South Korea. “Now more than ever, these FTAs are critical to America’s continued growth and competitiveness,” Gutierrez said.

View “Ask the White House” transcript


Korea-United States Summit Statement; Importance of Approving Korea-U.S. FTA

On August 6, Korean President Lee Myung-bak and U.S. President George W. Bush held a summit meeting in Seoul. During their meeting, the two leaders had in-depth discussions on the development of the ROK-U.S. Alliance, the approval of the Korea-U.S. Free Trade Agreement (KORUS FTA), the North Korean nuclear issue and other North Korea-related issues, and ways to expand cooperation on important bilateral, regional and global issues. The two Presidents reaffirmed that the KORUS FTA will boost trade, increase economic growth and create jobs in both the United States and Korea, while also adding an enduring economic pillar to both countries' bilateral partnership. Toward that end, the two Presidents committed themselves to working with their respective legislatures to approve the KORUS FTA as soon as possible.

View Statement of the ROK-U.S. Summit


Gutierrez Announces 2008 Americas Competitiveness Forum Participants

Secretary of Commerce Carlos M. Gutierrez announced August 6 that Presidents Uribe of Colombia, Colom of Guatemala, and Saca of El Salvador will attend the second annual Americas Competitiveness Forum (ACF), co-hosted with Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin on August 17-19. More than 20 nations from the Western Hemisphere will be represented in Atlanta by high-ranking government officials. “I’m honored that President Uribe, President Colom, President Saca and other distinguished guests will join me to discuss the importance of global competitiveness,” Gutierrez said. Confirmed private sector participants include Jim Balsillie, Co-CEO, Research In Motion, and Carl Schramm, President and Chief Executive Officer, Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation.

View Commerce press release