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US to strengthen trade barriers

The US government will strengthen enforcement focus on agricultural, technical barriers to US exports, according to a report submitted to the Congress by the US trade authorities.

In the report, US Trade Representative Ron Kirk said that "the Obama Administration is following through on its commitment to call out and break down barriers to American exports worldwide."

The 2010 National Trade Estimate report describes significant barriers to US trade and investment faced in the past year as well as the actions being taken by the Office of the US Trade Representative to address those barriers.

In addition, Kirk delivered two new, related reports focusing specifically on sanitary and phytosanitary barriers and technical barriers to trade that affect the ability of America's agricultural producers and manufacturers to export around the world.

The reports cover US trade concerns about more than 60 countries. Trade experts say that Kirk's report to the Congress is part of the US trade expansion plan.

In his State of the Union Address delivered in January, President Barack Obama vowed to double the US export in 5 years and create 2 mln jobs in the country. Later, the US government launched National Export Initiative, a program aimed to accomplish the president's goal.

Under the pressure of the election year, the Obama administration is anxious to defuse general opposition to trade deals that many voters blame for the loss of American jobs.

Natalie Berkhout

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