Obama calls record U.S. exports a big ‘bright spot’ in recovery

Two Deals

The administration is currently negotiating two deals that, if concluded, would cover about two-thirds of the world markets.

The Trans-Pacific Partnership among 12 nations, including the U.S., would link an area with about $26 trillion in annual economic output. Obama said it’s “the fastest growing market in the world.

U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman said negotiators are entering the final stages in the Pacific trade deal and aim to ‘‘wrap that up by the end of the year.’’

The accord would cover trade issues in such areas as agriculture, financial services, rules of origin and protections for companies that compete with state-owned enterprises.

The negotiations will be among the main topics when Obama travels to Asia beginning Oct. 6 for a meeting of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation organization and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations. All the nations involved in the Pacific pact are APEC members.

Atlantic Partnership

The second deal is the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, which includes the U.S. and members of the European Union.

It would be the biggest trade deal ever, affecting about 30% of global commerce, eliminating $10.5 billion in tariffs and boosting trade by an estimated $280 billion a year. The agenda includes farm commodities, banking services, intellectual property, drugs, transportation, manufacturing, chemicals, cars, energy and airlines.

Negotiators want a pact by the end of 2014 but talks may take years. One round of talks has been held and another is set for next month. Any trade treaty must be ratified by legislatures on both sides of the Atlantic.

Both deals would require approval from Congress.

The U.S.’s last major trade deal with Korea began in 2006 and didn’t conclude until 2011.

The Commerce Department said today that the U.S. current account deficit fell 5.7% to $98.9 billion in the second quarter, the lowest in almost four years, as exports increased. The current account is the broadest measure of trade because it tracks not only sales but government transfers and investment flows.

The President’s Export Council was created by Richard Nixon in a 1973 executive order as an advisory panel of as many as 28 members to counsel the president on international trade. Obama last met with the council on March 12.


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