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U.S. Commerce Secretary John Bryson and U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk Welcome Establishment of Interagency Trade Enforcement Center

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, February 28, 2012
CONTACT OFFICE OF PUBLIC AFFAIRS
202-482-4883

United States Commerce Secretary John Bryson and U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk issued the following statements in response to the Executive Order signed by President Obama today establishing the Interagency Trade Enforcement Center (ITEC):

“President Obama took a major step toward leveling the playing field for American workers and businesses today in establishing the Interagency Trade Enforcement Center, a new trade enforcement unit to investigate unfair trading practices worldwide,” said Secretary Bryson. “The Commerce Department is committed to making it as easy as possible for U.S. businesses to build things here and sell them everywhere, because we know that when American businesses and workers get a fair shot, they can compete and win. I look forward to working with USTR and other federal partners to make sure that our foreign trade partners play by the rules.”

“Today, President Obama took a significant step forward in ensuring America’s continued economic growth and security by establishing the first-ever Interagency Trade Enforcement Center within the Office of the United States Trade Representative,” said Ambassador Kirk. “This new trade enforcement unit will better enable USTR and the Department of Commerce to  join forces - with the support and collaboration of partner agencies like Agriculture, Homeland Security, Justice, State, Treasury and the Intelligence Community-to ensure that America’s trading partners play by the rules. It will help American workers and businesses compete and win on a fair global playing field."

President Barack Obama first announced the creation of the Interagency Trade Enforcement Center (ITEC) in his State of the Union address on January 24, 2012.  Today’s Executive Order marks the official launch of this new joint effort. ITEC will serve as the primary forum within the federal government for USTR and other agencies to coordinate enforcement of U.S. trade rights. It will also be a forum to encourage greater participation among U.S. workers, businesses, farmers and ranchers in the identification and reduction or elimination of unfair trade practices and barriers. The president’s fiscal 2013 budgets asks Congress to invest $26 million in the Commerce Department’s International Trade Administration and the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative to support the creation of ITEC.