OBAMA PUSHES PACIFIC TRADE DEAL

09 Nov, 2011

President Barack Obama is pursuing a trade agreement with eight Pacific nations as well as possibly Japan and China.

A partnership among these nations – Chile, Australia, Singapore and Peru, as well as Malaysia, New Zealand, Vietnam and Brunei – would be the biggest such trade deal for the U.S. since the North American Free Trade Agreement with Canada and Mexico in 1994.

U.S. Trade Representative, Ron Kirk, said: “We obviously got into this not just for those eight economies because we have trade agreements with half.”

He added: “We really believe that this has the potential to become the free- trade agreement of the Asia-Pacific, at least those 21 member economies.”

The US President’s presidential goals include that of doubling US exports (from 2009 levels) by 2015, and it is hoped that a Trans-Pacific agreement would help him achieve this.  

The deal, if agreed would be the first trade deal for President Obama and according to Bloomberg’s Businessweek, William Reinsch, President of the National Foreign Trade Council said: “It is going to be uniquely this administration’s,” adding: “Its shape has taken form under this administration.”

The agreement is to be discussed at the 21-nation Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation conference in Hawaii this weekend.

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