Meeting follows establishment of the Interagency Trade Enforcement Center through Presidential Executive Order signed today
Commerce Secretary John Bryson today hosted a joint meeting of the Trade Promotion Coordinating Committee (TPCC) and the Export Promotion Cabinet (EPC) to discuss strategic priorities for promoting trade and U.S. exports and receive input on new initiatives. Secretary Bryson was joined by officials from the Export-Import Bank, Small Business Administration, National Security Council, and Departments of Agriculture, State, and Treasury, among other agencies.
The TPCC and EPC support the president’s overall economic agenda by helping U.S. companies export globally and create jobs locally. The TPCC is composed of 20 federal government agencies and chaired by the Secretary of Commerce. The EPC was established to coordinate the development and implementation of the National Export Initiative (NEI) along with the TPCC, helping to meet the president’s goal of doubling U.S. exports by the end of 2014.
During the meeting, which was his first as Commerce Secretary, Bryson highlighted the progress with NEI and the need to strengthen efforts to continue to increase U.S. exports. In 2011, the U.S. exported over $2.1 trillion in goods and services, the highest on record and the first time in history that America has crossed the $2 trillion threshold. Despite the positive signs of economic recovery, the president has made clear that lasting economic growth requires leveling the playing field for American workers and businesses and making sure they are able to compete successfully in global markets.The group also discussed the Interagency Trade Enforcement Center (ITEC), which President Obama established through an Executive Order  (PDF) signed this morning. ITEC is a new trade enforcement unit that will significantly enhance the administration’s capabilities to aggressively challenge unfair trade practices worldwide. The E.O. will institute a “whole-of-government” approach to getting tough on trade enforcement by monitoring and enforcing U.S. rights under international and domestic trade rules and countering unfair subsidies that tilt the global market against U.S. firms.
ITEC will serve as the primary forum for the federal government to coordinate enforcement of international and domestic trade rules. Specifically, the E.O. calls for U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk to select the ITEC Director and for Commerce Secretary John Bryson to choose a supporting Deputy Director, both of whom will be supported by personnel from the Departments of Agriculture, Homeland Security, Justice, State, and the Treasury, as well as the Intelligence community.
ITEC is one of several administration initiatives that will make it easier for American businesses to sell their products and services all over the world. After all, when American businesses and workers get a fair shot, they can compete and win. That is why the president’s fiscal 2013 budget asks Congress to invest $26 million in Commerce’s International Trade Administration and USTR to support the creation of ITEC.
As the president has indicated, the U.S. cannot wait for the 2013 budget process to be resolved in order to do everything possible right now to defend the rights of U.S. workers and crack down on unfair trade violations. Therefore, ITEC will begin ramping up immediately using existing agency resources at USTR, the Commerce Department, and other agencies.