United States Trade Representative
Summary of United States Trade Representative
An office, with ambassadorial rank, created by Congress to direct U.S. trade negotiations during the Kennedy and Tokyo Rounds. Known previously as the special trade representative and the special representative for trade negotiations, the office was reorganized with expanded powers by Executive Order 12188, effective January 2, 1980. Responsibilities currently include all activities relating to the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (read about the GATT for further details); all trade or commodity issues involving the Organization For Economic Cooperation And Development (read this and related legal terms for further details); bilateral and multilateral trade negotiations; direct investment incentives and disincentives and barriers to investment; negotiations before the United Nations Conference On Trade And Development (read this and related legal terms for further details) and other multilateral organizations when trade is the primary issue under consideration In addition, the trade representative serves as vice-chairman of the board of the Overseas Private Investment Corporation and a non voting member of the board of the Export-Import Bank. The trade representative reports directly to the president and sits as a member of the Cabinet.
(Main Author: William J. Miller)
United States Trade Representative (USTR) in relation with International Trade
In the context of trade organizations, Christopher Mark (1993) provided the following definition of United States Trade Representative (USTR): An official in the Executive Office of the President with the rank of Ambassador, responsible for advising the President on the formulation and implementation of US trade policy and for working with Congress accordingly. The USTR has lead responsibility for coordinating US government positions in and conducting international trade negotiations. USTR is also the designation for the White House office headed by the US Trade Representative. Prior to the Trade Act of 1979, which established the Office of the USTR, the comparable official was known as the President’s Special Representative for Trade Negotiations (STR), a position first established in the Trade Act of 1962 (Sec. IV).