New Reports Detail Obama Administration Efforts to Reduce Trade Barriers
Acting U.S. Trade Representative Marantis Announces Obama Administration Accomplishments in 2012 in Reducing Trade Barriers
On April 1, Acting United States Trade Representative Demetrios Marantis sent three reports to President Obama and to the U.S. Congress detailing significant accomplishments that the Obama Administration has achieved in reducing or removing foreign government barriers to U.S. exports.
The Report on Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) Barriers to Trade focuses on unwarranted SPS barriers that block American agricultural exports. USTR details several successful actions to dismantle barriers, including the opening of the European Union market to exports of beef treated with lactic acid (a pathogen reduction treatment). On February 4, 2013, the EU eliminated its ban on the use of lactic acid as a pathogen reduction treatment on beef, and issued regulations to allow the import and transshipment of live swine. The lactic acid and live swine approvals were significant breakthroughs on longstanding barriers to U.S. exports. Lactic acid, which has been widely and safely used in the United States for many years, is the first pathogen reduction treatment to be approved by the EU on any kind of meat or poultry product. Being able to export product treated with lactic acid will allow more U.S. beef exporters to take advantage of access provided under EU beef quotas.
The Report on Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) addresses unwarranted or overly burdensome standards that make it difficult for American manufacturers to sell their products abroad. The proposed negotiation of a Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership – a comprehensive bilateral trade and investment agreement between the United States and the European Union – will provide an unprecedented opportunity to reduce and eliminate standards-related measures that decrease market opportunities for American exports.
The 2013 SPS and TBT reports were released in conjunction with the 2013 National Trade Estimate (NTE) Report on Foreign Trade Barriers (EU section on pages 139-162), an annual report that identifies foreign barriers to American exports of goods and services, foreign direct investment, and protection of intellectual property rights. To view the full 2013 SPS, TBT and NTE reports, please visit USTR’s website here.