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U.S. Chamber Welcomes Plans for Trade Agreement on Services

Monday, January 14, 2013 - 7:00pm

‘International Services Agreement will be an economic boost for the U.S.,’ says Brilliant

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Chamber of Commerce today welcomed the Obama administration’s notification of Congress that the United States will initiate negotiations on an agreement to liberalize international trade in services.

“The International Services Agreement will be an economic boost for the U.S. and the world economy,” said Myron Brilliant, the Chamber’s senior vice president for international affairs. “It will create new markets for U.S. exporters and generate a host of business and job opportunities from coast to coast.”

A group of more than 50 countries plans to launch negotiations for the International Services Agreement early this year. The U.S. leads the world in services exports, which surpassed $600 billion last year.

“U.S. services companies have seen trade and regulatory barriers multiply in ways that could not be foreseen two decades ago when the General Agreement on Trade in Services was negotiated,” explained Brilliant. “This is a chance to tackle emerging trade barriers in areas such as the digital economy while strengthening the global rules-based trading system.”

The U.S. is home to large numbers of highly competitive services firms in such sectors as audiovisual, banking, energy services, express delivery, information technology, insurance, and telecommunications.

“2013 will be a busy year for the U.S. trade agenda,” said Brilliant. “In addition to the ISA, the Chamber is seeking conclusion of a high-standard Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement, the early launch of negotiations for a trade pact with the European Union, and restoration of the president’s traditional authority to negotiate trade agreements in close consultation with Congress.”

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is the world’s largest business federation representing the interests of more than 3 million businesses of all sizes, sectors, and regions, as well as state and local chambers and industry associations.