Ambassador Kirk Asks Mayors to Share Ideas On U.S. Trade Policies
By Kay Scrimger
February 1, 2010
Addressing the nation's mayors at the Wednesday evening reception, United States Trade Representative (USTR) Ambassador Ron Kirk highlighted the key role of mayors in shaping the nation's trade policy.
"Six million Americans in your cities and towns owe their jobs to manufacturing exports. And even in these difficult times, millions more Americans are earning a living by selling other products and services abroad," Kirk said.
"Increasing American exports can jumpstart economic recovery and stimulate job creation. You know where we can target our trade policy efforts to create the best opportunities for the most businesses and workers in your cities and towns. And when we create that trade policy, more Americans will be able to find jobs and more American families will be able to get back on their feet."
"Every one of your cities can succeed by developing its own global niche and helping its citizens sell what they make best."
The Obama Administration is working to reshape America's trade policy, and "Local elected officials may be our greatest allies….USTR is seizing every opportunity to hear your insights so that we can make sure our trade policy meets the needs of every entrepreneur, every small business owner, and every worker."
Kirk invited mayors to follow USTR efforts on their website www.ustr.gov.
Nominated by President Obama, Kirk was confirmed by the U.S. Senate in March 2009. His priorities include developing trade policies that are "proactive, responsible, and more responsive to American families' interests," as well as new emphasis on trade policy that assists small- and medium'sized businesses. He is also working on increased enforcement efforts to bring home the benefits of existing trade agreements.
As a member of the Cabinet, Kirk serves as the President's principal trade advisor, negotiator, and spokesperson on trade issues. He draws upon more than twenty-five years of diverse legislative and economic experience in local, state, and federal government. As the first African-American Mayor of Dallas from 1995 to 2001, Kirk expanded his city's outreach to the world through a range of trade programs, including many trade missions.
In her introduction, Conference of Mayors President Burnsville (MN) Mayor Elizabeth B. Kautz said to the U.S. Trade Representative, "Mr. Ambassador, we mayors welcome you back home!"