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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 Genevamarker, Switzerlandmarker, and Brusselsmarker, Belgiummarker. The current United States Trade Representative is Ron Kirk.


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). The United States Trade Representative and Deputy United States Trade Representatives (DUSTR) carry the title of Ambassador.

Ron Kirk is the current Trade Representative, and Peter Allgeier and Demetrios Marantis are the current Deputy Trade Representatives.

The Special 301 Report

Since the enactment of Section 182 of the Trade Act of 1974, the USTR has played a key role in the expansion of intellectual property laws worldwide, and monitored efforts by other governments to protect IP rights.

The Omnibus Trade and Competitiveness Act of 1988 created the Special 301 mechanism, the USTR issues an annual Special 301 Report which "examines in detail the adequacy and effectiveness of intellectual property rights" in many countries around the world. Countries may be designated in the categories of Priority Watch List, Watch List, and/or Section 306 Monitoring status.

The Report also regularly attacks price controls that distort and damage free market incentives for the creation of intellectual property, particularly in the area of pharmaceuticals.

Most countries included in the Priority Watch List and Watch List between 1996 and 2000 where requested by Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America or International Intellectual Property Alliance.

List of United States Trade Representatives

Image Trade Representative From To Appointed by
Christian Herter 1962 1966 John Kennedy
William M. Roth 1967 1969 Lyndon Johnson
Carl J. Gilbert 1969 1971 Richard Nixon
William D. Eberle 1971 1975 Richard Nixon
Frederick B. Dent 1975 1977 Gerald Ford
Robert S. Strauss 1977 1979 Jimmy Carter
Reubin O'Donovan Askew 1979 1981 Jimmy Carter
William E. Brock III 1981 1985 Ronald Reagan
Clayton K. Yeutter 1985 1989 Ronald Reagan
Carla A. Hills 1989 1993 George H. W. Bush
Mickey Kantor 1993 1997 Bill Clinton
Charlene Barshefsky 1997 2001 Bill Clinton
Robert Zoellick 2001 2005 George W. Bush
Rob Portman 2005 2006 George W. Bush
Susan Schwab 2006 2009 George W. Bush
Ron Kirk 2009 present Barack Obama

See also


External links

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