What Business Can Expect in 2010 - U.S. Chamber of Commerce

John Murphy
Vice President, International Trade, U.S. Chamber of Commerce

Free Enterprise: What is the outlook for trade in 2010?

Murphy: While we have yet to see action, President Obama has repeatedly said that he wants to secure approval of the pending free trade agreements (FTAs). He spoke of approving the Korea deal sometime this year. He also said that the United States will engage in the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a new trade agreement in the Asia-Pacific region, which is a good move.

On the multilateral World Trade Organization talks, U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk is doing all the right things in pressing China, India, and Brazil to bring more to the negotiating table.

What’s lacking is a stopwatch and a road map. We can’t afford to wait—a Chamber study found that more than 380,000 Americans will lose their jobs if we fail to approve the FTAs with Korea and Colombia, while the EU and Canada charge ahead with their own agreements with those two countries. As for the road map, the administration needs to show how it thinks we can navigate the obstacles it says stand in the way of FTA approvals.

Free Enterprise: The president has recently echoed Chamber comments linking trade and job creation. What should the president’s plan be going forward?

Murphy: The Chamber has laid out a four-point plan for government action that would double U.S. exports in five years. It’s calling on the administration to

  • negotiate and pass trade agreements that would reduce barriers and improve access for American goods and services;

    *enforce existing agreements;

  • double federal expenditures on export promotion to help small companies get the tools, training, financing, and partners they need to sell overseas; and
  • coordinate leadership among government agencies overseeing export promotion.

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American Cambodian Business Council

The American Cambodian Business Council represents American businesses in Cambodia.