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Ambassador Ron Kirk is the former United States Trade Representative (USTR). He was a member of President Obama’s Cabinet and served as the President's principal trade advisor, negotiator, and spokesperson on trade issues.
After Ambassador Kirk was confirmed by the U.S. Senate in March 2009, he led USTR in developing trade policies that are proactive, responsible, and more responsive to our interests – recognizing that trade can be a job-creating pillar of economic recovery here and abroad.
Ambassador Kirk directed USTR’s market-opening agenda through negotiations and dialogue with trading partners around the world. These initiatives include working to conclude and advance bilateral free trade agreements with Korea, Colombia, and Panama, advancing the ambitious regional Trans-Pacific Partnership talks, and sustaining serious U.S. engagement in the Doha round of multilateral negotiations at the World Trade Organization. Ambassador Kirk simultaneously pursued robust enforcement of America’s trade rights in support of U.S. businesses and workers, and he has focused efforts to better assist American small businesses seeking opportunities in international markets.
Ambassador Kirk brought both public service and private sector experience to USTR. He served two terms as the first African-American mayor of Dallas. Prior to becoming mayor, he served as Texas Secretary of State under Governor Ann Richards. In addition, Ambassador Kirk has practiced law as a partner in the international law firm Vinson & Elkins, LLP. He was named one of "The 50 Most Influential Minority Lawyers in America" by The National Law Journal in 2008.
Originally from Austin, Texas, Ambassador Kirk graduated from Austin College and earned his law degree at the University of Texas School of Law. Ambassador Kirk is married to Matrice Ellis-Kirk and they have two daughters.
Ambassador Ron Kirk's Posts
- July 20, 2012 at 3:26 PM EDT
As the nineteenth International AIDS Conference kicks off in Washington, DC, experts and activists from around the world are bringing together their best ideas to fight this disease. As part of this conversation, the Obama Administration and others are taking a careful look at trade policy issues, recognizing the need for protecting intellectual property rights with access to life-saving medicines for people around the world.
- March 15, 2012 at 10:37 AM EDT
The tariff cuts in the agreement will increase exports of American goods by $10-11 billion, supporting an estimated 70,000 jobs across the country
- February 21, 2012 at 12:10 PM EDT
The enforcement of trade agreements is vital to the success of large U.S. exporters, as well as hundreds of firms of every size throughout the global supply chain
- November 16, 2011 at 7:10 PM EDT
The President's Export Council met to discuss ways to reach the President's goal of doubling our nation's exports by the end of 2014.
- October 21, 2011 at 10:04 AM EDT
These trade agreements will help put Americans back to work and grow America’s economy
- October 13, 2011 at 4:08 PM EDT
Every $1 billion of exports of American goods is estimated to support more than 6,000 additional jobs here at home
- October 4, 2011 at 5:45 PM EDT
These agreements will make it cheaper, faster, and easier for U.S. producers to sell more American goods and services in the growing markets of Korea, Colombia and Panama
- May 18, 2011 at 3:30 PM EDT
United States Trade Representative Ron Kirk writes on the goals of this year's Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) annual meetings.
- May 16, 2011 at 10:57 AM EDT
United States Trade Representative Ron Kirk encourages small businesses across the country to consider the advantages of exporting to one of our trade agreement country partners.
- March 18, 2011 at 2:33 PM EDT
President Obama set an ambitious goal of doubling U.S. exports by 2015, supporting at least two million additional American jobs. As the President departs for Latin America to promote U.S. exports and U.S. jobs, the Office of the United States Trade Representative are continuing to work on three pending free trade agreements – with Korea, Panama, and Colombia – that can support these National Export Initiative goals.