U.S. Trade Representative Releases Agenda for Free, Fair, Reciprocal Trade

The Office of the United States Trade Representative has released the 2019 Trade Policy Agenda and 2018 Annual Report of the President of the United States on the Trade Agreements Program, outlining five major pillars to restore free, fair, and reciprocal trade.

According to a presidential news release, the report contains the following highlights:

Supporting National Security

Consistent with his national security strategy, President Donald J. Trump’s trade policy agenda recognizes that economic prosperity at home is necessary for American power and influence abroad.

Free, fair, and reciprocal trade relations are critical to our national security policy, and form the cornerstone of the President’s trade agenda.

The United States remains committed to working with like-minded countries to defend our common prosperity and security against all forms of economic aggression.

Strengthening the US Economy

The Trump Administration’s Trade Policy Agenda focuses on strengthening the American economy for the benefit of all Americans.

Negotiating Trade Deals That Work for All Americans

The Administration is urging Congress to approve the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) – a new trade regime for North America that will treat American workers and businesses much better than the outdated NAFTA.

The Administration continues to press China to address long-standing U.S. concerns about unfair practices in that country.

The Administration intends to launch new trade negotiations with Japan, the European Union, and the United Kingdom to provide even more opportunities for U.S. workers and exporters.

Further, President Trump will seek an extension of the Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) until 2021, to better negotiate fair and balanced trade agreements.

The administration remains open to potential future bilateral trade agreements, including in the Indo-Pacific and African regions.

Enforcing and Defending U.S. Trade Laws

In 2018, President Trump issued a series of trade actions under Section 201 to safeguard U.S. manufacturers from a flood of overseas imports. This was the first use of Section 201 in 16 years.

The President is ensuring that foreign companies are being held accountable to their commitments to build products in the United States.

The Trump administration self-initiated a Section 301 investigation undertaking a detailed probe regarding technology transfers, unfair licensing practices, and intellectual property theft.

The Trump administration has initiated several Section 232 investigations into potential national security risks associated with imports of steel and aluminum.
Under President Trump, the United States has successfully litigated several World Trade Organization (WTO) disputes.

Reforming WTO

The United States will advocate sensible and fair reforms to the WTO, promoting rules for efficient markets, expanded trade, and greater wealth for all nations.

President Trump remains committed to working with all WTO members who share in the United States’ goal of fair and reciprocal trade deals and relationships.

The United States aims to hold accountable countries that break the rules for their actions, while respecting the sovereignty of all nations.

See the full report here.

Susanne T. Stirling
Susanne T. Stirling, senior vice president, international affairs, has headed CalChamber international activities for more than four decades. She is an appointee of the U.S. Secretary of Commerce to the National Export Council, and serves on the U.S. Chamber of Commerce International Policy Committee, the California International Relations Foundation, and the Chile-California Council. Originally from Denmark, she studied at the University of Copenhagen and holds a B.A. in international relations from the University of the Pacific, where she served as a regent from 2012 to 2021. She earned an M.A. from the School of International Relations at the University of Southern California. See full bio.