USAID DR-CAFTA Implementation Project Mechanisms for Private Sector, Civil Society, State and Local Government Consultations and Outreach on Trade Agreements: The U.S. Model. Dr. Christina Sevilla Deputy Assistant United States Trade Representative for
USAID DR-CAFTA Implementation ProjectMechanisms for Private Sector, Civil Society, State and Local Government Consultations and Outreach on Trade Agreements: The U.S. Model
Dr. Christina Sevilla
Deputy Assistant United States Trade Representative for
Intergovernmental Affairs and Public Engagement
Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
March 4, 2010
American trade policy works toward opening markets throughout the world to create new opportunities and higher living standards for families, farmers, manufacturers, workers, consumers, and businesses. The United States is party to numerous trade agreements with other countries, and is participating in negotiations for new trade agreements with a number of countries and regions of the world.
The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) is responsible for developing and coordinating U.S. international trade, commodity, and direct investment policy, and overseeing negotiations with other countries. The head of USTR is the U.S. Trade Representative, a Cabinet member who serves as the president’s principal trade advisor, negotiator, and spokesperson on trade issues.
USTR is part of the Executive Office of the President. Through an interagency structure, USTR coordinates trade policy, resolves disagreements, and frames issues for presidential decision.
USTR consults with other government agencies on trade policy matters through the Trade Policy Review Group (TPRG) and the Trade Policy Staff Committee (TPSC).
Administered and chaired by USTR and composed of 19 Federal agencies and offices, mechanism for developing and coordinating U.S. Government positions on international trade and trade-related investment issues.
The final tier of the interagency trade policy mechanism is the National Economic Council (NEC), chaired by the President.
Council of Economic Advisors
Council on Environmental Quality
Department of Agriculture
Department of Commerce
Department of Defense
Department of Energy
Department of Health and Human Services
Department of Homeland Security
Department of Interior
Department of Justice
Department of Labor
Department of State
Department of Transportation
Department of Treasury
Environmental Protection Agency
Agency for International Development
National Economic Council
National Security Council
Office of Management and Budget
U.S. International Trade Commission
Since its creation, USTR has maintained close consultation with Congress. USTR officials and staff participate in
hundreds of congressional meetings each year on subjects ranging from tariffs to textiles The following
Committees are the groups in Congress USTR consults with the most to create trade policy.
Congressional Entities of Jurisdiction/Regularly Consulted on Trade Policy:
Senate Finance Committee
House Ways and Means Committee
Leadership Offices of the Senate
Leadership Offices of the House
Other Senate Committees:
Committee on Appropriations
Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry
Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs
Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation
Committee on Foreign Relations
Committee on Judiciary
Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship
Other House Committees:
Committee on Appropriations
Committee on Agriculture
Committee on Energy and Commerce
Committee on Finance Services
Committee on Foreign Affairs
Committee on Judiciary
Committee on Small Business
Broadening opportunities for public input and increasing the transparency of trade policy is a key priority of USTR’s Office of Intergovernmental Affairs and Public Engagement (IAPE) under the Obama Administration.
USTR’s new interactive website
Weekly USTR e-newsletter
Federal Register Notices soliciting public comment and public hearings
Meetings with a broad array of domestic stakeholders -agriculture groups, industry groups, labor groups, small businesses, NGOs, universities, think tanks, and state and local governments
Speeches to associations and conferences around the country on the trade agenda
Statutory advisory committee system created by Congress under the Trade Act of 1974 as amended
Consultations with state and local governments
Small and medium-sized business initiative
New Interactive Website- www.ustr.gov
New USTR Blog
Interactive Features: Ask the Ambassador, Share Your Stories, Map of the Ambassador’s Travels
YouTube, Twitter, Facebook
Weekly E-newsletter, Trade Talk
Highlighting stakeholder meetings by the Ambassador and IAPE office
Press releases, links to information on major initiatives
Free email subscription services
Federal Register Notices
Public comments now available online for inspection, www.regulations.gov
TPSC public hearings
Examples: Pending FTAs; TransPacific Partnership; new enforcement tools; SME initiative
Open Door Policy
Meetings: USTR officials meet frequently with a broad array of stakeholder groups representing business, labor, environment, consumers, state and local governments, NGOs, think tanks, universities and high schools to discuss specific trade policy issues, subject to availability and scheduling
Speeches: USTR officials speak to associations and conferences around the country
Recent examples by Amb. Kirk: Michigan - Detroit Economic Club local business leaders, union officials at GM Tech Center, Governor, and Members of Congress; Florida- Port of Tampa, local businesses, Mayors, retail industry association; Univ. of Central Florida Center for Emerging Media
Increase Transparency of Policy Process
Support Rule of Law
Increase private sector/civil society channels for broad and sector-specific input to build support for the U.S. government’s trade policy
The trade advisory committee system, established by the U.S. Congress in 1974, is managed by IAPE. The trade advisory committee system was created to ensure that U.S. trade policy and trade negotiating objectives adequately reflect U.S. public and private sector interests.
The trade advisory committee system consists of 28 advisory committees, with a total membership of approximately 700 advisors. It includes committees representing sectors of industry, agriculture, labor, environment, state, and local interests.
IAPE manages the system in cooperation with other agencies: Departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Labor, and the Environmental Protection Agency
The trade advisory committees provide information and advice on U.S. negotiating objectives, the operation of trade agreements, and other matters arising in connection with the development, implementation, and administration of U.S. trade policy.
The system is arranged in three tiers: the President’s Advisory Committee for Trade Policy and Negotiations (ACTPN); five policy advisory committees dealing with environment, labor, agriculture, Africa, and state and local issues; and 22 technical advisory committees in the areas of industry and agriculture.
Recommendations for candidates for committee membership come from : members of Congress, associations and organizations, publications, other federal agencies, responses to Federal Register Notices, and self-nominated individuals. Selection is based on qualifications, geography, and the needs of the specific committee to maintain a balance of the perspectives represented.
Committee members are required to have a security clearance in order to serve and have access to confidential trade documents on a secure encrypted website. Committees meet regularly in Washington, DC Members pay for their own travel and expenses.
Tier I - Presidentially-appointed
Advisory Committee for Trade Policy and Negotiations (ACTPN)
Tier II – USTR/Cabinet-appointed
Agricultural Policy Advisory Committee for Trade (APAC)
Intergovernmental Policy Advisory Committee (IGPAC)
Labor Advisory Committee (LAC)
Trade and Environment Policy Advisory Committee (TEPAC)
Trade Advisory Committee for Africa (TACA)
Tier III – USTR/U.S. Department of Agriculture- appointed
Agricultural Technical Advisory Committee for Trade (ATACs):
in Animal and Animal Products
in Fruits and Vegetables
in Tobacco, Cotton and Peanuts
in Grains, Feed and Oilseeds
in Processed Foods
Tier III -USTR/Department of Commerce- appointed
Industry Trade Advisory Committees (ITACs):
ITAC 1: Aerospace Equipment
ITAC 2: Automotive Equipment and Capital Goods
ITAC 3: Chemicals, Pharmaceuticals, Health Science Products and Services
ITAC 4: Consumer Goods
ITAC 5: Distribution Services
ITAC 6: Energy and Energy Services
ITAC 7: Forest Products
ITAC 8: Information and Communications Technology Services and Electronic Commerce
ITAC 9: Non-Ferrous Metals and Building Products
ITAC 10: Services and Finance Services
ITAC 11: Small and Minority Business
ITAC 12: Steel
ITAC 13: Textiles and Clothing
ITAC 14: Customs Matters and Trade Facilitation
ITAC 15: Intellectual Property Rights
ITAC 16: Standards and Technical Trade Barriers
State Point of Contact System
Created by NAFTA and Uruguay Round implementing legislation and Statements of Administrative Action
For day-to-day communications, the Governor’s office in each State designates a single contact point to disseminate information received from USTR and assist in relaying specific information and advice from the states to USTR.
Intergovernmental Policy Advisory Committee (IGPAC)
Makes recommendations to the USTR and the Administration from the perspective of state and local governments. By charter, the IGPAC consists of approximately 35 members, including executive and legislative branches of state, county, and municipal governments. For example, the Council of State Governments (CSG), the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), the National League of Cities (NLC), the National Association of Counties (NACo), and the National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG) are among the organizations represented on the IGPAC.
Meetings of State and Local Associations and Local Chambers of Commerce
USTR officials participate frequently in meetings of state and local government associations to apprise them of relevant trade policy issues and solicit their views
Examples: application of the WTO Government Procurement Agreement (GPA), General Agreement on Trade in Services issues, the review of the model Bilateral Investment Treaty (BIT), enforcement of trade agreements, export promotion
On October 5, 2009, Ambassador Ron Kirk announced a new USTR initiative aimed at increasing exports by small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) located in the United States. USTR launched this initiative as part of the President’s strategy for economic recovery and job creation.
Small businesses which export grow faster, add jobs faster and pay higher wages than purely their purely domestic counterparts
Expand outreach to small businesses: only 1 in 100 export
New AUSTR designated with responsibility for small business and coordinating agency efforts
SME studies by the International Trade Commission
SME Conference hosted by Ambassador Kirk and expanded outreach
National Export Initiative announced by President Obama at State of Union – goal of doubling exports in 5 years to support 2 million jobs- whole-of-government approach
Questions, Discussion, Ideas for Potential Application in Your Domestic Context?