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USTR Kirk Says Jobs Are Job #1

United States Trade Representative Ron Kirk

By Bill Zeeble, KERA News

Dallas, TX – While in Dallas, United States Trade Representative Ron Kirk said job creation is his top priority. And he says the U.S. is close to agreements on several trade deals that could increase American exports. KERA's Bill Zeeble explains.

Ambassador Kirk told a crowd at a Dallas World Affairs Council lunch that President Obama wants to double United States exports in the next 5 years. That means encouraging small businesses to increase exports, because, says Kirk, small companies are job engines.

Kirk: So if you want to grow jobs and jump-start economic growth here at home, we think it only makes sense to pay much more attention to the ability of our small businesses to export.

Kirk is now involved in several international trade pacts. One is in Asia and the Pacific. Another ties 153 countries together through the World Trade Organization. The so-called DOHA round of talks began 9 years ago, but recently stalled. Kirk is confident they're moving forward again.

Kirk: We think, almost singularly, because of our insistence in the last year, we've put us in a more favorable position to bring it to a close, specifically between the United States and advanced economies like Brazil, India and China.

Kirk also stressed that developing more "green" products here could improve American exports. And he said intellectual property theft in some overseas markets has dropped significantly, That's because software makers, like Microsoft, have lowered some overseas retail prices.

Email Bill Zeeble