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Short Takes: News from the International Trade Administration

Spanish Edition of Business Ethics Textbook Published

Cover image of Spanish edition of Business Ethics TextbookThe Department of Commerce’s Good Governance Program has published a Spanish-language edition of its basic textbook on responsible business conduct, Business Ethics. Titled Ética Comercial, this edition is the fourth official version of the book, which has already been published in English, Russian, and Albanian.

“The United States and Latin America are natural economic allies [which] are becoming more and more integrated,” said Secretary of Commerce Carlos M. Gutierrez in his introduction to the book. “These closer ties bring with them greater responsibility …, [and] businesses have come to the realization that it benefits them to be leaders in the building of societies that value good governance, responsibility, and transparency.”

In 10 chapters, the book examines what it means to be a responsible business enterprise, how to establish and run a business ethics program, and how to achieve and measure success. Ten appendixes and 16 worksheets, along with numerous real-life examples, amplify the text.

Ética Comercial will be used in six Latin American countries that have active programs in business ethics: El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama, and Paraguay. Those programs have been set up under the auspices of the Good Governance Program in conjunction with local business organizations.

Copies of Ética Comercial are available for purchase from the U.S. Government Printing Office’s Web site. Search for stock number 003-009-00736-4. The full text is also available for downloading from the Good Governance Program Web site.

Benefits of Open Skies Agreement with European Union Examined

On March 2, 2007, the United States concluded a comprehensive air transport agreement with the European Union (EU) and its 27 member countries. According to a paper recently published by the Manufacturing and Services unit of the International Trade Administration, the agreement, which was signed in conjunction with the April 30, 2007, U.S.–EU Summit in Washington, D.C., has tremendous potential for transforming air travel and trade across the Atlantic.

The paper, “The Impact of the 2007 U.S.–EU Open Skies Air Transport Agreement,” examines key elements of the agreement and looks at how it will affect the movement of passengers and cargo between the United States and Europe. The agreement will be provisionally applied beginning March 30, 2008. It will extend “open skies” principles to EU countries where the United States has previously had either restrictive agreements or none at all.

Research cited in the paper estimates that approximately $12 billion annually would accrue to transatlantic airlines and related industries as a result of the agreement. Some 80,000 new jobs could potentially be generated. For consumers, the agreement will bring more competition and additional direct routes to more European cities.

The travel and tourism sector of the U.S. economy also stands to benefit from the agreement. Figures cited in the paper foresee growth of travel from the United States to the EU of 11 percent and growth of travel from the EU to the United States of 26 percent between 2006 and 2010.

Copies of the paper are available on the Web.

Trade Promotion Authority Supported by President’s Export Council

At a meeting of the President’s Export Council (PEC) held on April 24, 2007, the 48-member advisory group approved a letter of recommendation to President George W. Bush that voices strong support for the continuation of trade promotion authority (TPA).

“Since enactment in 2002, TPA has helped open markets for U.S. exporters through the successful negotiation and implementation of free trade agreements with 10 partner countries,” said the PEC in its letter. “Failure to renew TPA will severely hinder the U.S. position in the global economy. Our trading partners will hesitate, or even refuse, to enter into trade negotiations with the United States without TPA.”

TPA in essence is an agreement between the Congress and the administration. It sets forth specific Congressional guidance on objectives to seek in trade negotiations and certain notice and consultation requirements for obtaining Congressional, private-sector, and public advice. If the administration follows the TPA provisions, it can present the negotiated agreement to Congress for an up-or-down vote without amendments. TPA was first enacted under the Trade Act of 1974. The current TPA, enacted under the Trade Act of 2002, is set to expire on June 30, 2007.

“I commend PEC for understanding the value of renewing trade promotion authority,” said Secretary of Commerce Carlos M. Gutierrez in a statement released at the conclusion of the PEC’s April meeting. “TPA and our free trade agreements are vital keys to further opening markets for U.S. farmers, manufacturers, and service providers. Last year, we exported a record $1.4 trillion. Renewal of TPA is essential to keep this momentum going and to keep American companies competitive in global trade.”

The full text of the letter is available on the President’s Export Council Web site.