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United States Trade Representative


United States Trade Representative

Office of the United States Trade Representative
Seal of the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative
Flag of the U.S. Trade Representative
Agency overview
Formed 1962
Preceding Agency Office of the Special Trade Representative
Headquarters Winder Building 600 17th St. NW Washington, D.C.
Employees 200
Agency executives Michael Froman, U.S. Trade Representative
Miriam Sapiro, Deputy U.S. Trade Representative
Michael Punke, Deputy U.S. Trade Representative (Geneva)
Parent agency Executive Office of the President of the United States

The Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) is the United States government agency responsible for developing and recommending United States trade policy to the president of the United States, conducting trade negotiations at bilateral and multilateral levels, and coordinating trade policy within the government through the interagency Trade Policy Staff Committee (TPSC) and Trade Policy Review Group (TPRG).

Established as the Office of the Special Trade Representative (STR) under the Trade Expansion Act of 1962, the USTR is part of the Executive Office of the President. With over 200 employees, the USTR has offices in Geneva, Switzerland, and Brussels, Belgium. On May 2, 2013, President Obama nominated Michael Froman to succeed Ambassador Ron Kirk as the U.S. Trade Representative.[1] The United States Senate confirmed Froman on June 19, 2013, and he was sworn into office on June 21, 2013.[2][3]

On October 11, 2012, the Washington International Trade Association (WITA) hosted a reception in celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the Office of the United States Trade Representative. The event was held 50 years to the day that President John F. Kennedy signed the Executive Order creating the Office of the Special Trade Representative on October 11, 1962.


The head of the office holds the title of United States Trade Representative (USTR), which is a Cabinet-level position, though not technically within the Cabinet, as is the case with office heads not of US Departments but rather of offices contained within the Executive Office of the President. To fill the post, the President nominates someone for the position, and the appointment is then approved or rejected by a simple majority of the Senate. The United States Trade Representative and Deputy United States Trade Representatives (DUSTR) carry the title of Ambassador.

Michael Froman is the current US Trade Representative, with Michael Punke and Miriam Sapiro serving as Deputy US Trade Representatives. Ambassador Punke also concurrently serves as the U.S. Ambassador to the World Trade Organization (WTO).

The Special 301 Report

Main article: Special 301 Report

The Special 301 Report is prepared annually by the USTR under Section 182 as amended of the Trade Act of 1974. The Act states that the USTR must on an annual basis, by April of each year:

"identify those foreign countries that deny adequate and effective protection of intellectual property rights, or deny fair and equitable markets access to United States persons that rely upon intellectual property protection, and those foreign countries identified under" this "paragraph that are determined by the Trade Representative to be priority foreign countries". The Act defines "priority foreign countries" as "those foreign countries that have the most onerous or egregious acts, policies, or practices that deny adequate and effective intellectual property rights, or deny fair and equitable market access to United States persons that rely upon intellectual property protection, whose acts, policies, or practices described in" this "paragraph have the greatest adverse impact (actual or potential) on the relevant United States products, and that are not entering into good faith negotiations, or making significant progress in bilateral or multilateral negotiations to provide adequate and effective protection of intellectual property rights".[4]

The Uruguay Round Agreement Act furthermore states that countries may be identified under Special 301 "taking into account the history of intellectual property laws and practices of the foreign country, including any previous identifications" and "the history of efforts of the United States, and the response of the foreign country, to achieve adequate and effective protection and enforcement of intellectual property rights". It also states that compliance with the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights does not include a country from being identified as denying "adequate and effective protection of intellectual property rights".[5]

List of United States Trade Representatives

Image Trade Representative From To Home State Appointed by
Christian Herter 1962 1966 Massachusetts John F. Kennedy
William M. Roth 1967 1969 California Lyndon B. Johnson
Carl J. Gilbert 1969 1971 Massachusetts Richard Nixon
William D. Eberle 1971 1975 Idaho Richard Nixon
Frederick B. Dent 1975 1977 South Carolina Gerald Ford
Robert S. Strauss 1977 1979 Texas Jimmy Carter
Reubin Askew 1979 1981 Florida Jimmy Carter
Bill Brock 1981 1985 Tennessee Ronald Reagan
Clayton K. Yeutter 1985 1989 Nebraska Ronald Reagan
Carla A. Hills 1989 1993 California George H. W. Bush
Mickey Kantor 1993 1997 Tennessee Bill Clinton
Charlene Barshefsky 1997 2001 District of Columbia Bill Clinton
Robert Zoellick 2001 2005 Virginia George W. Bush
Rob Portman 2005 2006 Ohio George W. Bush
Susan Schwab 2006 2009 Maryland George W. Bush
Ron Kirk 2009 2013 Texas Barack Obama
Demetrios Marantis
2013 2013 New York Barack Obama
Miriam Sapiro
2013 2013 New York Barack Obama
Michael Froman 2013 present California Barack Obama

See also


External links

  • USTR website
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