Obama outlines trade policy agenda for 2013

Updated: 2013-03-02 05:43


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WASHINGTON - US President Barack Obama's administration outlined on Friday the trade policy agenda for 2013 to advance trade negotiations with Asian countries and European Union (EU), a signal that international trade is one of Obama's priorities in the next four years.

The president's trade policy agenda, which by statute must be delivered to Congress by March 1 of each year, offers an insight into how the administration is using trade policy tools to support US economic growth and job creation.

The agenda this year said the Obama Administration would advance Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations toward "an ambitious conclusion" and launch negotiations with the EU toward a Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, an important step to boost the US economy and strengthen the multilateral trading system in Obama's second term.

"TPP negotiators already are working diligently toward the goal put forward by President Obama and fellow TPP leaders in November 2012 - to strive to complete the negotiations this year," the US Trade Representative's office said in the annual report on the trade policy agenda.

The administration will also expand trade opportunities through regional economic integration with partners in Africa and Asia, enabling continued progress toward Obama's National Export Initiative goal to double US exports by the end of 2014, the report said.

"President Obama's trade strategy for 2013 calls for continued progress and bold steps that will build on last year's record- setting US export performance in support of greater economic growth and jobs for more Americans," said US Trade Representative Ron Kirk in a statement.

At the World Trade Organization, the US will promote trade liberalization, expansion of the Information Technology Agreement and negotiations on a new International Services Agreement this year, the report said.