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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT: Patrick Kirwan
202-482-3809
Friday, April 27, 2001

FIRST 100 DAYS
OF THE BUSH ADMINISTRATION
INTERNATIONAL TRADE
HIGHLIGHTS: COMMERCE DEPARTMENT

During the first 100 days of President George W. Bush's Administration, the U.S. Department of Commerce has focused on creating an environment that encourages America's entrepreneurs and workers to innovate, create wealth and flourish.

Tens of thousands of American businesses from Main Street to Wall Street--and their employees and customers--have benefited from the Commerce Department's emphasis on the people's priorities. These first 100 days have targeted the Department's human and financial resources on ensuring a level playing field for American business in the global marketplace, on fostering a positive environment for the technology and telecommunications industries, on delivering sound economic data to guide sound policy and business decisions, and on targeting resources to most effectively address priorities in natural resource management.

Highlights from the Department of Commerce for International Trade in the Bush Administration's first 100 days are:

Trade Promotion and Compliance

  • At the Secretary's direction, the Department's International Trade Administration (ITA) has worked on a number of fronts to promote trade by providing export counseling, advocating for U.S. companies, and carrying out numerous trade missions. ITA is also committed to ensuring foreign compliance with our trade agreements and ensuring that U.S. businesses get the full benefit of what we bargained for, as well as enforcing U.S. trade laws.

  • ITA's domestic and overseas staff have provided in-depth export counseling and assistance to over 24,000 U.S. companies, and have facilitated over 3,000 export successes worth over $21 billion in U.S. goods and services, including a number of large telecommunications and information technology sales.

  • Since January 20th, the Department of Commerce has held more than 20 trade missions supporting over 100 U.S. small and medium-sized businesses. The trade missions range from a Telecom/Information Technologies mission to India to an Electric Power mission to Toronto, Canada. These trade missions provide U.S. small and medium-sized, export-ready companies with a cost-effective and highly efficient means to promote their products and service.

  • Highlighting the Bush Administration's commitment to aggressive advocacy, both Secretary Evans and Secretary of State Colin Powell wrote the first joint Commerce-State advocacy letter of this administration to Cyprus President Glafcos Clerides regarding an aircraft procurement by Cyprus Airways. Cyprus Airways announced shortly thereafter that it had selected a combination of Boeing (Seattle, Wash.) and Airbus aircraft for the carrier's long-planned fleet renewal. Since the January inauguration of President Bush, the Advocacy Center has recorded five advocacy "successes" (i.e., contracts signed) for U.S. companies. The total value of the five projects/procurements is estimated at $185 million, including $60 million in U.S. export content.

  • Commerce Secretary Don Evans met with more than 20 foreign leaders ranging from President Fox of Mexico, King Abdullah of Jordan, President Kim of Korea, and President Mubarak of Egypt, to his counterparts from Mexico (Derbez), Canada (Pettigrew), Alvear (Chile), Lafer (Brazil), Gref (Russia) and Hiranuma (Japan) among others. In these meetings, the Secretary has articulated the Administration's commitment to open trade, expanding investment, trade agreement enforcement and compliance, and ensuring that the U.S. workers and citizens reap the benefits of globalization.

  • ITA's Import Administration has vigorously enforced U.S. trade laws by issuing decisions in 29 antidumping/countervailing duty (AD/CVD) reviews and/or investigations (20 of which involved steel, or steel-related products).

  • With the expiration of the Softwood Lumber Agreement (SLA) on March 31, 2001, many U.S. lumber mills expressed concern that the U.S. market would be flooded with lumber from Canada. In response to these concerns, Secretary Evans announced a new lumber import monitoring program. The Commerce Department has begun monitoring imports of softwood lumber, reviewing regularly compiled official statistics and working closely with Customs to monitor border traffic.

  • At the Secretary's direction, ITA has expanded its efforts to monitor and enforce foreign country compliance with our trade agreements. We have intensified our
    recruitment efforts for the Trade Compliance Initiative and are in the process of filling 62 positions in fiscal year 2001. In addition, Secretary Evans has asked all Members of Congress to designate a staff member to serve as Congressional Compliance Liaison, to provide contact points so that the Department can learn about and respond quickly to complaints about market access and compliance problems. ITA has also held a number of compliance workshops for all domestic Commercial Service regions to strengthen the role of ITA's domestic offices in our compliance efforts.

U.S.-Latin America Trade

  • At the Quebec City Summit of the Americas April 20-22, President Bush announced the Inter-American E-Business Fellowship Program -- a Department of Commerce training program for Latin American and Caribbean information technology managers. The program builds on President Bush's expressed interest in expanding cultural exchanges in the hemisphere as highlighted during his February joint statement with Mexican President Vincente Fox. The International Trade Administration (ITA) will implement the E-Business Fellowship Program on a pilot basis during this fiscal year.

  • Commerce Secretary Don Evans has been working to promote open trade in the Western Hemisphere through the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA) negotiations -- including through the Secretary's participation in Americas Business Forum in Argentina in early April. At the Americas Business Forum, the Secretary led the U.S. business delegation and gave the keynote speech. He built support for trade in the hemisphere by demonstrating the Administration's commitment to the FTAA and by holding extensive bilaterals with the Argentine government, the current chair of the FTAA process. While in Buenos Aires, the Secretary also participated in several private sector events, keynoted a Latin American/Caribbean E-commerce Summit, and met with Argentine, Brazilian, and other Latin American Trade Ministers who were in Buenos Aires for the Forum.

  • U.S.-Chile Free Trade Agreement: The Bush Administration has confirmed its commitment to developing closer economic ties within the Western Hemisphere. The U.S.-Chile FTA seeks to create a comprehensive and inclusive trade agreement that reflects our shared commitment to free trade and economic integration. The Department sent a large delegation of technical experts to the third round of negotiations in Miami, Fla., in late March and assisted in providing the head of delegation for this round on April 20.

To learn more about what the Commerce Department is doing to increase U.S. exports, visit trade.gov.

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