Demetrios Marantis, acting U.S. trade representative, has sent three reports to President Obama and Congress detailing noteworthy accomplishments that the current administration has achieved in reducing or removing foreign government barriers to U.S. exports.
In addition to describing the progress made over the past year, the three reports describe current barriers to U.S. exports and specify how the administration is working to address them.
The Report on Sanitary and Phytosanitary Barriers to Trade focuses on unwarranted sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) barriers that block U.S. agricultural exports. U.S. negotiators successfully removed specific SPS barriers in El Salvador, Hong Kong, Japan, Mexico and Taiwan to exports of U.S. beef; opened the European Union market to exports of beef treated with lactic acid; resolved barriers to U.S. exports of rough rice and poultry products to Colombia; improved market access for U.S. cherries entering Korea; and gained access into China for certain pears grown in the U.S.
The Report on Technical Barriers to Trade addresses unwarranted standards that make it difficult for U.S. manufacturers to sell their products abroad. In 2012, the administration addressed several of the TBT barriers identified in the previous year’s report, including work with Costa Rica and El Salvador to eliminate a certification requirement that will facilitate exports of processed meat products; an agreement with Brazil on requirements for meat processing facilities and meat products; work with Vietnam to address tax stamp issues for alcohol; and more.
The SPS and TBT reports are being released in conjunction with the 2013 National Trade Estimate Report on Foreign Trade Barriers, which identifies foreign barriers to U.S. exports of goods and services, foreign direct investment and protection of intellectual property rights.