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Bush Administration Sets Trade Enforcement Priorities

By John S. McClenahen With none of the sometimes-mushy language of political diplomacy, 10 countries, Taiwan, and the 15-nation European Union (EU) are being told this week that they must lower their trade barriers to U.S. exports or face the possibility of sanctions under Section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974. "Enforcement must remain a key priority, and we must step up our efforts to monitor compliance with our trade agreements and insist on performance by our trading partners," says Robert B. Zoellick, the U.S. Trade Representative. "This Administration will not hesitate to use the full power of U.S. and international law to do so." The list of alleged unfair practices includes restrictive auto policies in Japan and South Korea, telecommunications trade barriers in Mexico and Taiwan, continued problems with access to Japan's flat-glass market, and Israel's discriminatory policies affecting trade in electronic commerce. The EU is again being challenged for subsidizing Airbus Industrie, the European consortium that designs, builds, and markets large commercial aircraft. Australia, Brazil, Canada, India, Malaysia, and the Philippines are the other countries cited for putting up barriers to U.S. goods and services. Separately, under Section 182 of the 1974 trade measure, the Bush Administration is reaffirming last month's designation of Ukraine as a "priority foreign country" as a result of the former Soviet republic's failure to take "effective" action against piracy of optical media and to implement "adequate and effective" intellectual property protection laws.

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