President Issues Executive Order to Establish an Interagency Task Force in Support of the National Export Initiative
The Executive Order provides that the Task Force, in order to increase the success of U.S. exporters competing for foreign procurements, will coordinate the activities of relevant agencies to enhance Federal support in commercial advocacy cases; develop strategies to raise the awareness of commercial advocacy assistance within the U.S. business community; and distribute information about foreign procurement opportunities that may be of interest to U.S. businesses.
The Iranian sanctions under the Act will become similar to those currently in place with respect to Cuba in that the foreign affiliates of U.S. companies will be included under the U.S. jurisdiction. Thus, under the Act, foreign entities owned or controlled by a U.S. person must comply with U.S. sanctions against Iran. Sec. 218 of the Act provides that violation of the Iranian sanctions by a foreign affiliate requires the imposition of civil penalties under the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA) of up to twice the amount of the relevant transaction, on U.S. parent companies for the activities of their foreign subsidiaries that would violate the Act.
Other significant sections include:
- Sec. 201, which expands sanctions with respect to transactions in Iran’s energy sector.
• Sec. 202 imposes sanctions for transportation of crude oil from Iran and evasions of sanctions by shipping companies.
• Sec. 203 expands sanctions with respect to development of weapons of mass destruction (WMD).
• Sec. 204 expands sanctions available under the ISA, including prohibiting any U.S. person from investing in or purchasing significant amounts of equity or debt instruments of a sanctioned person.
• Sec. 219 requires companies whose stock is traded on U.S. stock exchanges to disclose whether they or their affiliates have knowingly engaged in sanctionable activities.
Act summary by section: http://banking.senate.gov/public/_files/IranSanctionSectionbySectionRevised.pdf
The E.O. targets foreign individuals and entities that have violated, attempted to violate, conspired to violate, or caused a violation of U.S. sanctions against Iran or Syria, or that have facilitated deceptive transactions for persons subject to U.S. sanctions concerning Syria or Iran. With this new authority, Treasury now has the capability to publicly identify foreign individuals and entities that have engaged in these evasive and deceptive activities, and generally bar access to the U.S. financial and commercial systems.
The mission of the ITEC is to:
“(a) serve as the primary forum within the Federal Government for USTR and other agencies to coordinate enforcement of U.S. trade rights under international trade agreements and enforcement of domestic trade laws;
(b) coordinate among USTR, other agencies with trade related responsibilities, and the U.S. Intelligence Community the exchange of information related to potential violations of international trade agreements by our foreign trade partners; and
(c) conduct outreach to U.S. workers, businesses, and other interested persons to foster greater participation in the identification and reduction or elimination of foreign trade barriers and unfair foreign trade practices.”
President's Executive Order Blocks Property of the Government of Iran and Iranian Financial Institutions
The Executive Order defines “United States person” as “any United States citizen, permanent resident alien, entity organized under the laws of the United States or any jurisdiction within the United States (including foreign branches), or any person in the United States.”
The proposed reorganization would replace the Department of Commerce with a new department that would include the consolidation of the Small Business Administration, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, the Export-Import Bank, the Overseas Private Investment Corporation and the U.S. Trade and Development Agency.
BIS would be included in this new department, which would oversee issues related to small business, trade and competitiveness, technology and innovation and statistics.
The White House estimates that the consolidation would save $3 billion over ten years, and trim around 2,000 federal jobs. Obama called on Congress to reinstate Presidential authority to reorganize and consolidate the federal government, including authority to propose agency mergers to be approved or rejected with an up-or-down vote.
The EO targets transactions that could “directly and significantly contribute to the maintenance or enhancement of Iran’s ability to develop petroleum resources located in Iran,” and that could “directly and significantly contribute to the maintenance or expansion of Iran’s domestic production of petrochemical products.”
The sanctions are not limited to U.S. persons and apply to “any person.”
GSP/TAA Reinstated; U.S. Free Trade Agreements with South Korea, Colombia and Panama Signed Into Law
- H.R. 2832, the “Trade Adjustment Assistance Extension Act of 2011,” which extends the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP program through July 31, 2013, and reauthorizes the Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) program through December 31, 2013;
• H.R. 3080, the “United States-Korea Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act,” which implements the United States-Korea Free Trade Agreement (FTA);
• H.R. 3078, the “United States-Colombia Trade Promotion Agreement Implementation Act,” which implements the United States-Colombia Trade Promotion Agreement and extends the Andean Trade Preference Act; and
• H.R. 3079, the “United States-Panama Trade Promotion Agreement Implementation Act,” which implements the United States-Panama Trade Promotion Agreement.
The GSP/TAA program, renewed retroactively to January 1, 2011, will remain in force through July 31, 2013. Along with the program, the Merchandise Processing Fee (MPF) was increased from 0.21% to 0.3464%. The increase applies to entries from October 1, 2011 to June 30, 2021.
The minimum MPF rate of $25 and the maximum MPF of $485 were not changed. However, at the old rate importers reached the maximum MPF with an entry valued over $230,952. Under the new rate, the maximum $485 MPF will be reached with an entry valued over $140,011.
The FTAs between the U.S. and South Korea, Panama, and Colombia were negotiated more than four years ago. The FTAs include provisions concerning protecting U.S. intellectual property, guaranteeing market access for the U.S. manufacturers, the environment, and labor rights.
The U.S. International Trade Commission estimates that, pursuant to the South Korean FTA, the reduction of Korean tariffs and tariff-rate quotas on goods alone will add $10 billion to $12 billion to annual U.S. Gross Domestic Product and around $10 billion to annual merchandise exports to Korea.
The PECSEA provides advice on matters pertinent to those portions of the Export Administration Act, as amended, that deal with United States policies of encouraging trade with all countries with which the United States has diplomatic or trading relations and of controlling trade for national security and foreign policy reasons.
BIS states that, “A limited number of seats will be available for the public sessions on both days. Reservations are not accepted. To the extent time permits, members of the public may present oral statements to the PECSEA. Written statements may be submitted at any time before or after the meeting. However, to facilitate distribution of public presentation materials to PECSEA members, the PECSEA suggests that public presentation materials or comments be forwarded before the meeting to
Ms. Yvette Springer at Yvette.Springer@bis.doc.gov.”
The published agenda is as follows:
Monday, September 19
1. Export Control Reform Field Hearing.
Tuesday, September 20
1. Welcome and Remarks by the Chairman and Vice Chair.
2. Export Control Reform Update.
3. Presentation of Papers or Comments by the Public.
4. Review of Field Hearing.
5. Status of 2011 Workplan.
6. Discussion of 2012 Workplan.
7. Subcommittee Breakout Sessions.
The Order leaves in place all existing sanctions imposed under Executive Orders 13466 and 13551.
Executive Order 13466 of 2008 declared a national emergency pursuant to International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA) to deal with the unusual and extraordinary threat to the U.S. posed by the proliferation of weapons-usable fissile material on the Korean Peninsula.
Executive Order 13551 of 2010 expanded the national emergency declared in Executive Order 13466 and blocked the property and interests in property of three North Korean entities and one individual.
In the Memorandum, President Obama stated that the Federal Government has not kept pace with the development of the information age, with government agencies growing without overall strategic planning and duplicative programs springing up. “My current budget proposes more than 200 terminations, reductions, and savings in agency programs totaling approximately $30 billion in fiscal year 2012. But we must go further. Winning the future will take a government that judiciously allocates scarce government resources to maximize its efficiency and effectiveness so that it can best support American competitiveness and innovation. Now is the time to act to consolidate and reorganize the executive branch of the Federal Government in a way that best serves this goal.”
The President assigned the U.S. Chief Performance Officer (CPO) who also serves as the Deputy Director for Management of the Office of Management and Budget to lead the effort to create a plan for the restructuring and streamlining of the executive branch of the Federal Government. The first focus of this effort will be increasing trade, exports, and overall competitiveness of the U.S.
The President directed that the CPO establish a Government Reform for Competitiveness and Innovation Initiative led by an Executive Director to conduct a comprehensive review of the Federal agencies and programs involved in trade and competitiveness, including analyzing their scope and effectiveness, areas of overlap and duplication, unmet needs, and possible cost savings. As part of the review, the CPO and Executive Director will confer with the heads and staff of executive departments and agencies, including the offices and agencies within the Office of the President.
Recommendations on how to restructure and streamline Federal Government programs focused on trade and competitiveness are due to the President within 90 days from March 11, 2011.
The PEC predicts that a single system that allows traders to lodge information with a single body to fulfill all import or export related regulatory requirements would reduce a major barrier to U.S. exports and deliver immediate benefits. Based on the World Bank estimate that it takes an average of six days to move goods to or from the U.S., the PEC predicts that a one day improvement in time, by means of a single system, could increase U.S. trade by almost $29 billion and would help create thousands of new U.S. jobs.
Some progress on the development and implementation of a single system has already been made. In 2001, Customs and Border Protection (CBP) began a process to modernize their customs information systems, and created the Automated Commercial Environment (ACE) as the single online access point that connects CBP, the trade community, and other government agencies.
A key feature of the ACE project is the International Trade Data Systems (ITDS) program. ITDS will allow traders to provide electronic international trade and transportation data to all Federal agencies that have import/export responsibilities. Ultimately, the goal is “a single window into the Federal government that will facilitate commerce and increase compliance with trade laws.”
Until recently, the ACE/ITDS program has focused primarily on U.S. import data. However, in 2010, ITDS Report to Congress recommends that export functionality be given priority: export agencies should work the ITDS Board of Directors to quickly identify ways to provide an export single window. According to the PEC, the absence of a single, automated system for export clearance increases costs for U.S. exporters, unnecessarily adding expense and time-in-transit to business transactions.
Accordingly, the PEC recommends that Obama’s Administration work with the various stakeholders, including the DHS/CBP, USTR, Treasury, ISDA/FAS, and DoC/ITA to enable the creation of a single window to streamline the export process.
In addition, President Obama sent a letter to Congress on the matter and issued the following statement:
The Libyan government’s continued violation of human rights, brutalization of its people, and outrageous threats have rightly drawn the strong and broad condemnation of the international community. By any measure, Muammar el-Qaddafi’s government has violated international norms and common decency and must be held accountable. These sanctions therefore target the Qaddafi government, while protecting the assets that belong to the people of Libya.Going forward, the United States will continue to closely coordinate our actions with the international community, including our friends and allies, and the United Nations. We will stand steadfastly with the Libyan people in their demand for universal rights, and a government that is responsive to their aspirations. Their human dignity cannot be denied.
“The PECSEA will provide invaluable advice as we continue to enhance our national security through the President’s reform efforts,” Locke said. “Export Control Reform requires a public-private partnership, and the business community’s insight on how that effort impacts the industrial base is vital.”
President’s Export Council (PEC) member Raul Pedraza, Founder and President of Magno International L.P., will chair the PECSEA, which has scheduled its first meeting for March 10. Marion Blakey, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Aerospace Industries Association, will serve as the Vice Chair.
Additional PECSEA Members
Gregory Bourn, Finmeccanica North America, Inc.
Leslie Bowen, Material Systems, Inc.
Darrell Coleman, DynCorp International, LLC
Curtis Dombek, Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton, LLP
Nelson Dong, Dorsey & Whitney, LLP
Jefferson Hofgard, The Boeing Company
Beth Ann Johnson, Northrop Grumman Corporation
Dean Johnson, Systron Donner Inertial
Tino Oldani, Ingersoll Machine Tools, Inc.
Kathleen Lockard Palma, General Electric Company
Roy Paulson, Paulson Manufacturing Corporation
Kimberly Pritula, Sturm, Ruger & Company, Inc.
Gregory Robbins, Veeco Instruments, Inc.
Carlos Romero, University of New Mexico
Robert Schacht, Hyrdra-Electric Company
Michelle Schulz, Braumiller Schulz, LLP
Chiradeep Sengupta, Federal Express
Michael Slonim, Honeywell International, Inc.
Osval “Chip” Storie, MAG Industrial Automation Systems
Michael Swartz, Lake Shore Cryotronics, Inc.
Chuck Tabbert, Ultra Communications, Inc.
Song Volk, Hughes Network Systems, LLC
The President announced at the meeting that the Administration released a series of regulations and requests for comment as part of the implementation of the new U.S. export system. The Administration also deployed its Export Control Reform Initiative webpage at www.export.gov, which includes a new tool to facilitate compliance with U.S. export control requirements by bringing together, for the first time, the various screening lists maintained by multiple Departments.
The announcement included introducing new proposed regulations published by the Department of State and by the Department of Commerce, both of which request public comments within 60 days:
“First, the Department of State published a proposed regulation to rewrite Category VII (Tanks and Military Vehicles) of the U.S. Munitions List (USML). The proposed Category is a “positive list” of those defense articles that an interagency technical working group has determined provide at least a significant military or intelligence advantage to the United States. The Department of State is soliciting public comment to ensure that the new Category clearly and concisely identifies the items that are controlled in this Category.
Second, the Department of State published a companion notice that provides details on the U.S. Government’s methodology for generating the revised, positive Category VII as a model for other categories. The notice also solicits public input for virtually all the remaining categories on the USML (excluding the categories for classified defense articles and for miscellaneous articles), requesting input on:
1. Describing currently controlled defense articles in a “positive manner;” 2. Recommending each defense article’s proposed tier of control; and 3. Identifying any current defense article that does not meet any of the tiered control criteria, with an explanation of the analysis that resulted in that conclusion.
These inputs will be reviewed by the interagency technical working groups as the U.S. Government continues its work in revising the control lists. The Administration has an aggressive schedule to complete its rewrite of the entire USML in 2011.
Third, the Department of Commerce published a similar notice requesting public input on entries on the Commerce Control List as well as requesting foreign availability information on a wide range of controlled items outside a proposed set of countries who are allies and multilateral regime partners.
Fourth, the Department of Commerce published a proposed regulation that offers an initial set of new licensing policies. The proposed regulation would create a new license exception that would allow exports of controlled items (consistent with statutory and treaty requirements) to countries that are members of all four multilateral export control regimes or other regime members that also are members of NATO. It would also allow exports of items controlled on the Wassenaar Arrangement’s Basic List to countries that are members of or adherents to all four multilateral export control regimes, members of NATO, or for civil end-uses in destinations that have not historically represented a significant diversion or proliferation risk for U.S.-origin items. The proposed exception would impose new requirements to provide safeguards against possible unauthorized re-exports, including notification, destination control statement and consignee statement requirements.”
In addition to serving as the primary forum within the Federal Government executive departments and agencies to cooperate their export control enforcement efforts, EECC’s responsibilities will also include:
- Serving as a conduit between Federal law enforcement agencies and the U.S. Intelligence Community for the exchange of information related to potential U.S. export control violations;
• Serving as a primary point of contact between enforcement authorities and agencies engaged in export licensing;
• Coordinating law enforcement public outreach activities related to U.S. export controls; and
• Establishing Government wide statistical tracking capabilities for U.S. criminal and administrative export control enforcement activities, to be conducted by the Department of Homeland Security with information provided by and shared with all relevant departments and agencies participating in the Center.
The Factsheets provide that India’s Prime Minister (PM) Singh and President Obama are committed to work together to strengthen the global non-proliferation and export control framework and continue to transform bilateral export control cooperation. PM Singh and President Obama agreed to take mutual steps to implement a four-part export control reform program, including: support for India’s membership in the multilateral export control regimes, removing India’s Defense and Space-Related Entities from the U.S. “Entity List;” export licensing policy realignment, and export control cooperation.
With respect to defense cooperation, factsheet notes that the U.S.-India defense relationship has evolved from solely military-to-military links into a mature partnership that encompasses dialogues, exercises, defense sales, professional military education exchanges, and practical cooperation. The leaders reaffirmed the importance of maritime security, unimpeded commerce, and freedom of navigation, in accordance with relevant universally agreed principles of international law.
As part of the National Export Initiative, the factsheet notes that President Obama recognizes that India, with its high economic growth and its large and growing middle class, is a key market for U.S. exports. During the President’s trip to India when the partnership agreement was established, trade transactions were announced or showcased, exceeding $14.9 billion in total value with $9.5 billion in U.S. export content, supporting an estimated 53,670 U.S. jobs.
Regarding the nuclear safety aspect, the factsheet states that U.S. and India signed a memorandum of understanding that provides a general framework for cooperative activities in working with India’s Global Centre for Nuclear Energy Partnership, which India announced at the 2010 Nuclear Security Summit. “In working with India’s Centre, the U.S. will give priority to discussion of best practices on the security of nuclear material and facilities, development of international nuclear security training curricula and programs, joint outreach on security issues to their respective nuclear industries, and cooperation on other nuclear security activities as mutually determined.”
“As American consumers spend a little less and save a little more, it has never been more important to connect U.S. businesses to the 95 percent of the world's consumers who live outside our borders,” U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke said. “Helping American companies sell more abroad will create jobs and boost our economy. This report is a blueprint for doing just that.”
The administration’s efforts, through the NEI, are focused on five areas that include access to credit, especially for small and midsize firms; increased trade advocacy and export promotion efforts; removal of barriers to the sale of U.S. goods and services abroad; enforcement of trade rules; and pursuing policies that will increase global economic growth so that there’s a strong worldwide market for U.S. goods and services.
The report outlines ways the U.S. government can expand efforts to help U.S. businesses win more foreign government contracts, find buyers worldwide, participate in more trade missions and trade shows, receive more export financing, and learn new ways to sell products and services overseas. A central focus of the plan is providing additional assistance to small and medium-sized businesses, which are major drivers of new job creation.
According to the report, nine months into a five-year plan, progress is already evident: “Exports in the first six months of this year were 18 percent higher than exports in the first six months of 2009. Furthermore, exports have contributed more than one percentage point to GDP growth (at an annual rate) in each of the four quarters of recovery and have contributed over 1.5 percentage points to growth in the last year. This was a larger contribution than either consumption or fixed investment.”
In the report, the Export Promotion Cabinet provides recommendations to help achieve the priorities established in the NEI Executive Order:
Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs): a National Outreach Campaign to raise awareness of export opportunities and government export assistance for U.S. small and midsize companies; a re-launch of export.gov, the Government’s export internet portal, with new export training opportunities to educate companies on how they can begin selling their products overseas or break into new markets if they are already exporting.
Federal Export Assistance: bring more international buyers to U.S. trade shows and encourage more U.S. companies to participate in major international trade shows. In addition, implement a government-wide export promotion strategy for six newly designated “next tier” markets (Colombia, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Turkey and Vietnam).
Trade Missions: substantially increase the number of trade missions abroad, particularly those led by senior U.S. Government officials, and foreign buyer trade missions to the United States.
Commercial Advocacy: level the playing field for companies bidding on projects abroad through improved coordination among government export promotion programs; formalize a path to escalate, for the first time ever, critical advocacy projects for direct White House and National Economic Council involvement where necessary.
Increasing Export Credit: extend more export credit through existing trade finance agencies, increase awareness of credit products, focus on SMEs and companies from underserved sectors of the U.S. economy, expand the eligibility criteria for SME export finance lending, and streamline the application and review process for SME exporters.
The NEI provides more funding, more focus and more cabinet-level coordination to grow U.S. exports. According to the report, since the President announced the NEI, the Department of Commerce’s Advocacy Center has assisted American companies competing for export opportunities, supporting $11.8 billion in U.S. exports and an estimated 70,000 jobs.
The NEI Report will be followed by the National Export Strategy, prepared by the Trade Promotion Coordinating Committee (TPCC) and delivered to Congress annually, which will detail the implementation of these recommendations and measure progress.
Full NEI report can be accessed here and the executive summary of the report is attached here.
Hello everyone. I’m sorry I’m not able to be with you in person today, but I’m pleased to have the chance to join you by video to talk about our export control reform initiative.
About a year ago, we launched a comprehensive review of our export controls and determined that we need fundamental reform in all four areas of our current system – in what we control, how we control it, how we enforce those controls, and how we manage our controls. I want to thank Secretary Locke, Secretary Gates, Secretary Clinton and many others for their work on this initiative. And today I want to highlight the key elements of our new approach and the first steps toward its implementation.
For too long, we’ve had two very different control lists, with agencies fighting over who has jurisdiction. Decisions were delayed, sometimes for years, and industries lost their edge or moved abroad. Going forward, we will have a single, tiered, positive list – one which will allow us to build higher walls around the export of our most sensitive items while allowing the export of less critical ones under less restrictive conditions.
In the past, there was a lot of confusion about when a license was required. It depended on which agency you asked. Now, we will have a single set of licensing policies that will apply to each tier of control, bringing clarity and consistency across our system.
In addition, I plan to sign an Executive Order that creates an Export Enforcement Coordination Center to coordinate and strengthen our enforcement efforts – and eliminate gaps and duplication – across all relevant departments and agencies.
Finally, right now, export control licenses are managed by multiple, different IT systems or, in some cases, even on paper. Going forward, all agencies will transition to a single IT system, making it easier for exporters to seek licenses and ensuring that the government has the full information needed to make informed decisions.
While there is still more work to be done, taken together, these reforms will focus our resources on the threats that matter most, and help us work more effectively with our allies in the field. They’ll bring transparency and coherence to a field of regulation which has long been lacking both. And by enhancing the competitiveness of our manufacturing and technology sectors, they’ll help us not just increase exports and create jobs, but strengthen our national security as well.
All of this represents significant progress. And as we implement these reforms and take further steps – including working to create a single licensing agency – I look forward to working with both Congress and the export control community to ensure their success. Thank you.
The assessment, created at the direction of the President, was conducted by an interagency task force that included all departments and agencies with roles in export controls. The assessment found that the current U.S. export control system does not sufficiently reduce national security risk based on the fact that its structure is “overly complicated, contains too many redundancies, and tries to protect too much.”
Based on the review, the Administration has determined that fundamental reform of the U.S. export control system is needed in each of its four component areas, with transformation to a:
- Single Control List,
• Single Primary Enforcement Coordination Agency,
• Single IT System, and
• Single Licensing Agency.
For the implementation of the proposed reforms, the Administration has prepared a comprehensive, three-phase approach and is currently moving forward to make specific reforms which can be initiated immediately and implemented without legislation:
Phase I makes significant and immediate improvements to the existing system and establishes the framework necessary to create the new system, including making preparations for any legislative proposals. This phase includes implementing specific reform actions already in process and initiating review of new ones.
- Control List – refine, understand, and harmonize definitions to end jurisdiction confusion between the two lists; establish new independent control criteria to be used to screen items for control into new tiered control list structure.
• Licensing – implement regulatory-based improvements to streamline licensing processes and standardize policy and processes to increase efficiencies.
• Enforcement – synchronize and de-conflict enforcement by creation of an Enforcement Fusion Center.
• IT – determine enterprise-wide needs and begin the process to reduce confusion by creating a single U.S. Government (USG) point of entry for exporters.
Phase II results in a fundamentally new U.S. export control system based on the current structure later this year. This phase completes deployment of specific Phase I reforms and initiates new actions contingent upon completion of Phase I items. Congressional notification will be required to remove munitions list controls or transfer items from the munitions list to the dual-use list, and additional funding will be required both for enhanced enforcement and the IT infrastructure.
- Control List – restructure the two lists into identical tiered structures, apply criteria, remove unilateral controls as appropriate, and submit proposals multilaterally to add or remove controls.
• Licensing – complete transition to mirrored control list system and fully implement licensing harmonization to allow export authorizations within each control tier to achieve a significant license requirement reduction which is compatible with national security equities.
• Enforcement – expand outreach and compliance.
• IT – transition toward a single electronic licensing system.
Phase III completes the transition to the new U.S. export control system. Legislation would be required for this phase:
- Control List – merge the two lists into a single list, and implement systematic process to keep current.
• Licensing – implement single licensing agency.
• Enforcement – consolidate certain enforcement activities into a Primary Enforcement Coordination Agency.
• IT – implement a single, enterprise-wide IT system (both licensing and enforcement).
In the executive order, Obama states that the NEI will help meet his Administration’s goal of doubling exports over the next 5 years by working to remove trade barriers abroad, by helping firms to overcome obstacles to enter new export markets, by increasing trade financing, and by pursuing a general, Government-wide approach to promote U.S. exports abroad.
Particular focus of NEI will fall on the following areas:
a) Exports by small and medium-sized corporations (SMEs). EPC members will develop programs designed to enhance export assistance to SMEs, including developing programs to improve technical assistance to first-time exporters and assisting current exporters in identifying new export opportunities in international markets;
b) Federal Export Assistance. Members of the EPC will promote Federal resources currently available to assist U.S. exports;
c) Trade Missions and Commercial Advocacy. U.S. Government-led trade missions will effectively promote exports by U.S. companies;
d) Increasing Trade Financing. The President of Ex-Im will work on increasing the availability of credits to SMEs. In his speech, the President noted that in 2009, Ex-Im authorized $21 billion in loans in support of U.S. exports, almost a 50% increase from the previous year. Under the NEI, the amount of trade financing available to SMEs is expected to increase further;
e) Macroeconomic Rebalancing. A balanced and strong growth in the global economy will be promoted through the G20 or other appropriate mechanisms;
f) Reducing Barriers to Trade. The U.S. Trade Representative together with members of EPC will take steps to improve market access overseas for U.S. manufacturers, farmers, and service providers. To ensure that that U.S. companies have free and fair access to the overseas markets, in his speech at Ex-Im President Obama called for enforcement of trade agreements that U.S. already has on books; and
g) Export Promotion of Services. Pursuant to NEI, a framework for promoting services trade, including the necessary policy and export promotion tools, will be developed.
President Obama also stated that one of the major goals of NEI is aggressive protection of intellectual property in the U.S., achieved by negotiating proper protections with foreign countries and enforcing existing U.S. agreements overseas.
With regard to export controls, President Obama stated:
Finally, we’re working to reform our Export Control System for our strategic, high-tech industries, which will strengthen our national security. What we want to do is concentrate our efforts on enforcing controls on the export of our most critical technologies, making America safer while enhancing the competitiveness of key American industries. We’ve conducted a broad review of the Export Control System, and Secretary Gates will outline our reform proposal within the next couple of weeks. But today, I’d like to announce two steps that we’re prepared to take.
First, we’re going to streamline the process certain companies need to go through to get their products to market -– products with encryption capabilities like cell phone and network storage devices. Right now, they endure a technical review that can take between 30 and 60 days, and that puts that company at a distinct disadvantage to foreign competitors who don’t face those same delays. So a new one-time online process will shorten that review time from 30 days to 30 minutes, and that makes it quicker and easier for our businesses to compete while meeting our national security requirements.
And second, we’re going to eliminate unnecessary obstacles for exporting products to companies with dual-national and third-country-national employees. Currently, our exporters and foreign consumers of these goods have to comply with two different, conflicting set of standards. They’re running on two tracks, when they could be running just on one. So we’re moving towards harmonizing those standards and making it easier for American and foreign companies to comply with our requirements without diminishing our security. And I look forward to consulting with Congress on these reforms, as well as broader export control reform efforts.
This presidential action was taken following North Korea's submission of a declaration of its nuclear programs, which will now be subject to verification, by the Six Parties. The Six Party talks has been a series of meetings with six party states: the People's Republic of China, the Republic of Korea (South Korea), North Korea, the United States, the Russian Federation, and Japan, which were the result of North Korea's withdrawal from the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty in 2003.
The Administration plans to carry out North Korea's rescission from the SST list only after the Six Parties reach agreement on acceptable verification principles and acceptable verification protocol regarding North Korea's nuclear activities; the Six Parties have established an acceptable monitoring mechanism; and verification activities have begun.