If you didn't catch President Obama's State of The Union Address last week, you missed the announcement of a new Trade enforcement Unit. As part of his trade policy for the coming year, this new team of trade enforcers will allow the US to ensure compliance of fair trade practices. Below is an excerpt from the Presidents speech:
"I will go anywhere in the world to open new markets for American products. And I will not stand by when our competitors don’t play by the rules. We’ve brought trade cases against China at nearly twice the rate as the last administration –- and it’s made a difference. Over a thousand Americans are working today because we stopped a surge in Chinese tires. But we need to do more. It’s not right when another country lets our movies, music, and software be pirated. It’s not fair when foreign manufacturers have a leg up on ours only because they’re heavily subsidized."
"Tonight, I’m announcing the creation of a Trade Enforcement Unit that will be charged with investigating unfair trading practices in countries like China. There will be more inspections to prevent counterfeit or unsafe goods from crossing our borders. And this Congress should make sure that no foreign company has an advantage over American manufacturing when it comes to accessing financing or new markets like Russia. Our workers are the most productive on Earth, and if the playing field is level, I promise you -– America will always win."
US Trade Representative comments on the make-up of the new Trade Enforcement Unit
US Trade Representative Ron Kirk has said in the press that this new agency will include intelligence officials as well as representatives from other agencies.
"We don't want them to make ... [the] bet that we don't have the resources to come after them if they're intentionally and unfairly discriminating against American exporters," Kirk said.
The office of the US Trade Representative has only had about 250 employees. The new Trade Enforcement Unit would expand the capabilities of the US to investigate and represent cases to the World Trade Organization (WCO).
Seeks to curb unfair trade practices of China
While the Trade Enforcement Unit will investigate unfair trade practices from any country, it is pretty obvious that the focus is primary on China. It is no secret that The U.S. trade deficit with China is expected to hit record levels. U.S. trade officials say their main complaints against China are barriers to its agricultural and services markets, discriminatory industrial policies and weak intellectual property rights protection.
What do you think about this new trade enforcement unit? Do you think they will help increase fair trade practices?
From what I understand, this new team is for enforcement of existing laws. I don't think there are any new regulations.
Will TEU offer jobs to civilians in the near future? Also if so what would be the process of employment?