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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

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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


Office of the united states trade representative ustr mission and role

Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR)Mission and Role

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.


Working with other agencies

Working with other agencies

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.


Working with other agencies cont d

Working with other agencies (cont’d)

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


Working with congress

Working with Congress

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


Public input and transparency

Public Input and Transparency

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.

Key mechanisms:

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


Public outreach

Public Outreach

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

Video posts

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


Public outreach cont d

Public outreach (cont’d)

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


Statutory mechanisms for trade consultation why have them

Statutory Mechanisms for Trade Consultation- Why Have Them?

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


Trade advisory committee system

Trade Advisory Committee System

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.


Trade advisory committee system cont d

Trade Advisory Committee System (cont’d)

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.


List of ustr trade advisory committees

LIST OF USTR TRADE ADVISORY COMMITTEES

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 Sweeteners

in Grains, Feed and Oilseeds

in Processed Foods


List of ustr trade advisory committees cont d

LIST OF USTR TRADE ADVISORY COMMITTEES (cont’d)

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


Consultation with states and localities

Consultation with States and Localities

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


Consultation with states and localities cont d

Consultation with States and Localities (cont’d)

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


Small and medium business initiative

Small and Medium-Business Initiative

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

USTR initiative:

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


Adapting the mechanisms

Adapting the Mechanisms

Questions, Discussion, Ideas for Potential Application in Your Domestic Context?


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