President Obama recently signed an executive order, establishing the Interagency Trade Enforcement Center (ITEC) within the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR). The Obama administration is aimed at doubling exports by the year 2015, and this new agency will help facilitate that goal.
According to Ron Kirk, Ambassador of USTR, the ITEC is among the most significant commitment of resources and expertise since the establishment of the USTR. The purpose of the Interagency Trade Enforcement Center will be to coordinate U.S. trade rights under international agreements, monitor unfair trade practices, as well as identify and eliminate foreign trade barriers. These tasks will hopefully curb the production of counterfeit and unsafe goods and improve market access for U.S. exporters. The ITEC will also strengthen trade enforcement of intellectual property laws.
Chairman of the House Trade Working Group, Rep. Mike Michaud (D-Maine), said, “Signing this order brings us one more important step closer to the level of trade enforcement we need to counter the predatory practices of countries like China.”
Based on the signed executive order, the mission and function of The Interagency Trade Enforcement Center will be to:
(a) serve as the primary forum within the Federal Government for USTR and other agencies to coordinate enforcement of U.S. trade rights under international trade agreements and enforcement of domestic trade laws;
(b) coordinate among USTR, other agencies with trade related responsibilities, and the U.S. Intelligence Community the exchange of information related to potential violations of international trade agreements by our foreign trade partners; and
(c) conduct outreach to U.S. workers, businesses, and other interested persons to foster greater participation in the identification and reduction or elimination of foreign trade barriers and unfair foreign trade practices.