Shortly after noon last Friday Ron Kirk was sworn in as U.S. Trade Representative. During the ceremony, Vice President Joe Biden said, "Ron is going to have the responsibility of working toward opening markets throughout the world to create new opportunities and higher living standards for our families, our farmers, our manufacturers, our workers, our consumers, our businesses." The Vice President called Kirk – the right man for the job.
Kirk has already met with EU Trade Commissioner Catherine Ashton. A joint statement released by the pair announced that they have committed to intensify efforts to ensure that bilateral trade relations and cooperation on multilateral issues of common interest make the strongest possible contribution to global economic recovery.
The joint statement also addressed international negotiations including agreement on the importance of achieving an ambitious and balanced outcome to the WTO Doha Development Agenda as soon as possible and maintaining a sustained effort to follow through on the pledge G20 Leaders made in November to refrain from raising new barriers to investment or to trade in goods and services.