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News Analysis: Obama’s Recent Trade Policies

By:
May 10

2012 has been a busy year for trade policy in the Obama administration.

President Obama and his economic team made numerous changes to the United States’ trade policy—including the merging of trade offices, the creation of trade enforcement units and more—as well as had multiple meetings with foreign officials on the subject.

In his State of the Union address, the President announced the creation of a Trade Enforcement Unit, which will investigate unfair trade practices such as piracy, currency manipulation and consumer product safety.

In another move, President Obama proposed a merging of the U.S. Trade Representative’s office with the Commerce Department, a move that concerned some apparel importers, wrote Women’s Wear Daily. Others applaud the move as consolidation of government bureaucracy.

In February, President Obama met with Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping to discuss economics. Afterward, Xi took part in a roundtable with U.S. and Chinese business leaders at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

While in Cartagena for the Summit of the Americas Conference in April, President Obama spoke with Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos about the impending free trade agreement (FTA) between the two nations—which was later cleared and goes into effect May 15. The FTA was signed by Obama following the conclusion by the U.S. government that Colombia had fully complied with labor conditions. The trade pact is projected to increase U.S. exports by $1.1 billion.

 

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