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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.
As we continue the Celebrating Black History Month series, U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk talks about the need to improve American education to stay competitive in a global economy.
Ron Kirk, the U.S. Trade Representative, explains the ways that the trade agreement between the United States and Korea will increase exports of American goods and services and support American jobs at home.
Ambassador Ron Kirk attends the Bangor State Fair in Maine and discusses how trade can support well-paying jobs domestically with local business leaders, workers, and farmers.
United States Trade Representative Ron Kirk talks about the Administration's record making sure America gets a fair shake in global trade.
As he wraps up his weeklong trip to Asia, Ambassador Ron Kirk reports on how new partnerships and agreements will benefit American businesses and workers.
United States Trade Representative Ron Kirk reports on his speech to the APEC CEO Summit in Singapore where he spoke of how strong trade ties between the U.S. and the Asia-Pacific region can help create new American jobs.