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President’s Trade Policy Continues Focus on Competition

Mar 02, 2016

The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative today released President Obama’s 2016 Trade Policy Agenda, which the administration said focuses on supporting U.S. jobs and raising wages. The agenda outlines key priorities in U.S. bilateral and multilateral trade and investment relationships, including the Trans-Pacific Partnership and ongoing efforts to negotiate the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership with the European Union.

According to USTR Michael Froman, “Over the past seven years, the administration has fought hard to open the largest and fastest-growing markets to U.S. exports, most notably in the Asia-Pacific. Our efforts have helped position more Americans to compete—and win—in tomorrow’s global economy.”

The administration believes TPP will cut more than 18,000 taxes on Made-in-America exports, while supporting more high-paying American jobs and promoting U.S. interests and values. IDFA supports TPP on balance but has said that it can’t be a template for future agreements. While disappointed that TPP didn’t include a comprehensive opening of foreign markets to U.S. dairy exports, IDFA approved of new rules to prevent geographical indications from “being abused” to block the use of common food names in the United States and other TPP markets.

The 2016 Agenda specifically mentions geographical indications, saying the government will continue to oppose efforts that use GIs as barriers to trade.

“We are happy to see that the President’s Trade Agenda includes language to protect the ability of U.S. exporters to continue using common names overseas and acknowledges the overreach of protection for geographical indications,” said Beth Hughes, IDFA director of international affairs.

The Office of the United States Trade Representative is the lead agency responsible for the development and implementation of the President’s Trade Policy Agenda.

For more information, contact Hughes at

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