Factbox: Barack Obama on trade

US Polls

US President Barack Obama has just won a re-election bid. Now, he is expected to pursue an active trade agenda in his economic plan during his second term, centered on tough final negotiations of a new free trade pact in the Asia-Pacific region and continued challenges posed by China.

Here is a glimpse of what's ahead:


Talks on the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership pact date back to the administration of Republican George W. Bush, but the Obama administration relaunched negotiations in March 2010 and has overseen their expansion to 11 countries: the United States, Australia, New Zealand, Vietnam, Malaysia, Singapore, Chile, Peru, Brunei, Canada and Mexico.

A final deal could come in 2013, with negotiators just now beginning to grapple with the most politically sensitive issues. For the United States, the pact could require opening up protected sectors like dairy, sugar and textiles in exchange for new U.S. export opportunities.

Other countries such as Japan and South Korea could join the talks.


The United States and the 27-nation European Union are expected to announce a decision by the end of this year to negotiate a comprehensive trade agreement.

U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk, who is a member of the president's Cabinet, and EU Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht have led an effort over the past year to explore how to expand the already huge U.S.-EU bilateral trade and investment relationship to create new jobs and economic growth.

They are expected to release recommendations in December. Negotiations on the landmark agreement would likely start in early 2013 and take one to two years to complete.


Trade with China is expected to remain contentious during Obama's second term, with U.S. manufacturers irritating Beijing by filing additional petitions for anti-dumping and countervailing duties on Chinese products.

The Obama administration is likely to file more cases against China at the World Trade Organization, and will likely face continued pressure from U.S. companies to confront growing competition from China's state-owned and state-supported enterprises.

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