Pres Obama’s European Travel: NS Summit, EU-US Summit & NATO

03/22/2014

2014 Nuclear Security Summit The Netherlands, the organising country, will focus on the following achievable and visible goals:

  1. Optimal security for and, if at all possible, a reduction in the use of highly enriched uranium and plutonium.
  2. Ratification of the amended Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material by more countries to ensure that the amendment enters into force as soon as possible.
  3. More frequent reviews of state security structures by IAEA advisory missions.
  4. National registration and protection of highly radioactive sources (e.g. medical equipment).
  5. Greater role for industry in nuclear security, to enhance the security culture and existing regulations.States should provide information to their own people and the international community to demonstrate that they are taking appropriate measures to maintain the security of their nuclear material and facilities.
  6. These confidence-building measures will increase trust in the international protection system.

For more: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2014_Nuclear_Security_Summit http://youtu.be/IA-iJtNNir0

NSS  2014 2014 Nuclear Security Summit

2014 NSS Family Photo

2014 Nuclear Security Summit
24-25 March 2014
World Forum Convention Center The Hague, Netherlands

Website: https://www.nss2014.com

.2014 EU-US Summit

President Obama’s European Travel Itinerary

March 24, Monday

President Obama arrives in the Hague, Netherlands

President Obama meets with Dutch Prime Minister Rutte
Amsterdam, Netherlands

President Obama tours the Rijksmuseum with Dutch Prime Minister Rutte
Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, Netherlands

President Obama and Dutch Prime Minister Rutte hold a bilateral meeting
U.S. Ambassador’s Residence, The Hague, Netherlands

President Obama and Dutch Prime Minister Rutte deliver remarks
U.S. Ambassador’s Residence, The Hague, Netherlands

President Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping hold a bilateral meeting
U.S. Ambassador’s Residence, The Hague, Netherlands

President Obama attends opening Nuclear Security Summit sessions
World Forum Convention Center , The Hague, Netherlands

President Obama attends first plenary Nuclear Security Summit sessions
World Forum Convention Center , The Hague, Netherlands

President Obama attends Nuclear Security Summit scenario-based policy seasons
World Forum Convention Center , The Hague, Netherlands

President Obama attends a G-7 meeting
Dutch Prime Minister Rutte’s residence, Catshuis, The Hague, Netherlands

President Obama meets with Dutch King Willem-Alexander
Royal Palace of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, Netherlands

President Obama participates in a family photo
Royal Palace of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, Netherlands

President Obama and Dutch King Willem-Alexander hold a working dinner
Royal Palace of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, Netherlands

March 25, Tuesday

President Obama meets with Kazakhstan President Nazarbayev
U.S. Ambassador’s residence, The Netherlands

President Obama holds a joint press conference with Dutch Prime Minister Rutte
Gemeentemuseum Den Haag, The Hague, Netherlands

President Obama attends plenary Nuclear Security Summit sessions
World Forum Convention Center , The Hague, Netherlands

President Obama attends additional Nuclear Security Summit sessions
World Forum Convention Center , The Hague, Netherlands

President Obama speaks at the closing session of the Nuclear Security Summit 
World Forum Convention Center , The Hague, Netherlands

President Obama and Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, Mohammed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan hold a bilateral meeting
United States Ambassador’s residence, The Hague, Netherlands

President Obama, South Korean President Park Geun-hye and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzō Abe hold a trilateral meeting
United States Ambassador’s residence , The Hague, Netherlands

President Obama meets with U.S. Embassy members
United States Ambassador’s residence , The Hague, Netherlands

President Obama travels to Brussels, Belgium

March 26, Wednesday

President Obama meets with Belgian King King Philippe and Belgian Prime Minister Elio Di Rupo
Flanders Fields Cemetery, Brussels, Belgium

President Obama attends a wreath laying
Flanders Fields Cemetery, Brussels, Belgium

President Obama tours battlefield
Flanders Fields Cemetery, Brussels, Belgium

President delivers remarks
Flanders Fields Cemetery, Brussels, Belgium

President Obama attends the US-EU Summit
Council of the European Union, Brussels, Belgium

President Obama meets with European Commission Presidents Barroso and Van Rompuy – US-EU Summit
Council of the European Union, Brussels, Belgium

President Obama attends a US-EU Summit working lunch
Council of the European Union, Brussels, Belgium

President Obama, European Commission Presidents Barroso and Van Rompuy hold a press conference – EU-US Summit
Council of the European Union, Brussels, Belgium

President Obama meets with employees and family members of the U.S. Tri-Mission to Belgium
The Hotel, Brussels, Belgium

President Obama meets with NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen
The Hotel, Brussels, Belgium

President Obama in Address to European Youth
The Palais des Beaux-Arts (BOZAR) aka Paleis voor Schone Kunsten (PSK) The Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium, Brussels, Belgium

President Obama departs for Rome

March 27, Thursday

President Obama meets with His Holiness Pope Francis
The Holy See Vatican City, Italy

President Obama meets with Cardinal Secretary of State Parolin
The Holy See, Vatican City, Italy

President Obama participates in a restricted bilateral meeting with President Giorgio Napolitano of Italy
Quirinal Palace, Rome, Italy

President Obama participates in a extended bilateral meeting with President Giorgio Napolitano of Italy

President Obama and Italian President Napolitano hold a working lunch
Quirinal Palace, Rome, Italy

President Obama and Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi of Italy participates in a bilateral meeting
Villa Madama, Rome, Italy

President Obama and Italian Prime Minister Renzi hold a press conference
Villa Madama, Rome, Italy

President Obama tours the Colossum
Rome, Italy

President Obama meets with members of The Holy See,The Holy See, and the UN Agencies in Rome
U.S. Ambassador’s residence, Rome, Italy

March 28, Friday

President Obama and His Majesty King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz of His Majesty hold a bilateral meeting
Rawdat Khuraim,  Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

President Obama spends the night
Ritz Carlton, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

March 29, Saturday

President Obama Presents to Dr. Maha Al Muneef the State Department’s 2014 Women of Courage Award
Ritz Carlton, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

President Obama meets and greets with Embassy personnel
Ritz Carlton, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

President Obama departs Saudi Arabia for the White House

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First Lady Michelle Obama Travels To China

03/18/2014

FLOTUS Travels to China - map

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Michelle Obama is the wife of the 44th and current President of the United States, Barack Obama. She was born on January 17, 1964 under the Chinese horoscope of the Rabbit 兔 癸 卯 on the South Side of Chicago. She attended Princeton University and Harvard Law School before returning to Chicago to work at the law firm Sidley Austin, where she met her future husband. Subsequently, she worked as part of the staff of Chicago mayor Richard M. Daley, and for the University of Chicago Medical Center.

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First Lady Michelle Obama and her daughters will travel to China and she’s inviting students and classrooms across the U.S. to follow her trip.

During her trip to China, the First Lady will be focusing on the power and importance of education, both in her own life and in the lives of young people in both countries.

First Lady Michelle will meet with Madame Peng, the spouse of China’s President Xi Jinping. She will  visit a university and a high school in Beijing, and a high school in Chengdu as well as visiting important historical and cultural sites in China, and will share with students in the U.S. the stories of the students she meets in China, as well as interesting facts about China’s history and culture — emphasizing the importance of students learning from one another globally.

First Lady Michelle Obama is inviting young people across America to join her. During her trip, Mrs. Obama will meet with students at the Stanford Center at Peking University, Beijing Normal School and Chengdu No. 7 High School to discuss the power and importance of education, both in her own life and in the lives of young people in both countries. She’ll also visit historical and cultural sites, from the Great Wall to the Terra Cotta Warriors, and will be sharing it all with you!

Here’s how people in the U.S. — and around the world — can participate and follow along:

  • The First Lady’s travel journal: Each day, the First Lady will post a daily travel blog, complete with videos and photos (and you can sign up to get the latest entries delivered to your inbox).
  • First Lady Michelle Obama’s  “100,000 Strong” China Study Abroad Initiative  (2011 Video here)
  • Ask the First Lady: In the weeks leading up to the trip, hundreds of young people submitted questions for the First Lady. During the visit, Mrs. Obama will record video responses and engage directly with young people on social media. Use the hashtag #FLOTUSinChina to discuss the trip and ask questions on Twitter or Instagram.
  • Read all of the First Lady’s posts at WhiteHouse.gov/First-Lady-China-Trip.
  • Follow on social media: You can follow along through the First Lady’s Twitter and Instagram accounts.

More ways to engage online:

  • “Exchange for a Day” with Discovery Education: From Peking University in Beijing, the First Lady will answer questions submitted by classrooms around the country, as part of Discovery Education and the White House’s “Of the People” webinar series. Jeff Wood, an American student from D.C. who is currently studying abroad in China, will pose questions to the First Lady on behalf of Discovery Education’s online audience. You can ask questions and watch the event on Tuesday, March 25th at 1:30 p.m. ET.
  • PBS Global Learning and Diplomacy Collection: As part of a new collection of resources, students and classrooms around the U.S. can access educational resources and collections about the history and culture of China. Leading up to the visit, Deputy National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes and the First Lady’s Chief of Staff Tina Tchen participated in a special webinar to answer questions from young people about the trip and China’s rich history and culture.
  • CNN iReport Assignment: iReporters in the U.S. and around the world have submitted questions for the First Lady about study abroad. Stay tuned to watch Mrs. Obama answer questions from Beijing.
  • Q&A with Youth in China: The U.S. Embassy has invited their social media followers on Chinese microblogging websites Sina and QQ Weibo to post questions for the First Lady. While in China, Mrs. Obama will answer questions about her visit. The First Lady’s responses will be posted in Mandarin on the Embassy’s social media platforms.

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First Lady Michelle Obama’s China Itinerary

Beijing, China

March 20

  • First Lady Michelle Obama arrives in Beijing

March 21

March 22

  • First Lady Michelle Obama delivers remarks to students at the Stanford Center at Peking University. Speaking to an audience of American students studying abroad at Peking University and Chinese students who have studied abroad in the United States, Mrs. Obama will discuss the importance of study abroad and other cultural exchanges as well as the stake our two countries have in one another’s success.
  • First Lady Michelle Obama participates in a virtual discussion with American youth. During the conversation, Mrs. Obama will highlight the role of technology in enabling students in the United States to connect and collaborate with students around the world.
  • First Lady Michelle Obama visits the Summer Palace.
  • First Lady Michelle Obama meets with staff and families of the United States Embassy in Beijing.

March 23

  • First Lady Michelle Obama hosts an education roundtable.
  • First Lady Michelle Obama visits the Great Wall of China.

Xi’an, China

March 24

Chengdu, China

March 25

  • First Lady Michelle Obama visits Chengdu No. 7 High School. During remarks to students, Mrs. Obama will highlight the importance of education in her own life and in the lives of students in both the United States and China.
  • First Lady Michelle Obama meets with staff and families of the United States Consulate in Chengdu.

March 26

  • First Lady Michelle Obama visits the Chengdu Panda Base. The Chengdu Panda Base is currently home to approximately 50 pandas, ranging in age from infancy to full-grown adults. Chinese scientists spend their days working to increase the panda population through research, conservation, and breeding.
  • First Lady Michelle Obama departs Chengdu and returns to Washington D.C.

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The World Supports Ukraine’s Freedom

03/15/2014

March 12, 2014

Statement of G-7 Leaders on Ukraine

We, the leaders of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, the United States, the President of the European Council and the President of the European Commission, call on the Russian Federation to cease all efforts to change the status of Crimea contrary to Ukrainian law and in violation of international law.  We call on the Russian Federation to immediately halt actions supporting a referendum on the territory of Crimea regarding its status, in direct violation of the Constitution of Ukraine.

Any such referendum would have no legal effect.  Given the lack of adequate preparation and the intimidating presence of Russian troops, it would also be a deeply flawed process which would have no moral force.  For all these reasons, we would not recognize the outcome.

Russian annexation of Crimea would be a clear violation of the United Nations Charter; Russia’s commitments under the Helsinki Final Act; its obligations to Ukraine under its 1997 Treaty of Friendship, Cooperation and Partnership; the Russia-Ukraine 1997 basing agreement; and its commitments in the Budapest Memorandum of 1994.  In addition to its impact on the unity, sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine, the annexation of Crimea could have grave implications for the legal order that protects the unity and sovereignty of all states.  Should the Russian Federation take such a step, we will take further action, individually and collectively.

We call on the Russian Federation to de-escalate the conflict in Crimea and other parts of Ukraine immediately, withdraw its forces back to their pre-crisis numbers and garrisons, begin direct discussions with the Government of Ukraine, and avail itself of international mediation and observation offers to address any legitimate concerns it may have.  We, the leaders of the G-7, urge Russia to join us in working together through diplomatic processes to resolve the current crisis and support progress for a sovereign independent, inclusive and united Ukraine.  We also remind the Russian Federation of our decision to suspend participation in any activities related to preparation of a G-8 Sochi meeting  until it changes course and the environment comes back to where the G-8 is able to have a meaningful discussion.

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21/3/14 European Council focuses on Ukraine crisis and further sanctions 

безкоштовно України

Vice President Biden to Travel to Poland and Lithuania

Vice President Biden travels to Poland and Lithuania next week, March 17-19th, to meet with regional partners to discuss events in Ukraine and other regional issues. In Warsaw and Vilnius, the Vice President will meet with the Polish President Komorowski and Prime Minister Tusk and Estonian President Ilves, Latvian President Bērziņš, and Lithuanian President Grybauskaitė.

During his meetings, the Vice President will consult on steps to support Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, and affirm our collective defense commitments under the North Atlantic Treaty and our enduring support for all of our allies and partners in Europe.

VP Biden Warsaw

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Happy St. Patrick’s Day 2014

03/13/2014

WH_St_Patricks_Day_Fountain The United States and Ireland share a strong bilateral relationship; deep cultural, historic, and people-to-people bonds; and a shared commitment to advancing peace, security, and prosperity in the world.

March 14

President Obama welcomes Ireland’s Prime Minister (Taoiseach) Enda Kenny to the White House.

Vice President Biden hosts the Taoiseach for breakfast at the Naval Observatory

President Obama meets with the Taoiseach in the Oval Office

President Obama and Vice President Biden attends the traditional St. Patrick’s Day lunch at the U.S. Capitol

Vice President Biden meets with First Minister Peter Robinson and deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness of Northern Ireland

President Obama and First Lady Michelle hosts a reception to celebrate their sixth St. Patrick’s Day at the White House.

President Obama and the Taoiseach participates in the annual Shamrock ceremony started under President Truman.

lá sona naomh Pádraig

Shamrock

Happy St. Patrick’s Day 

 Green Pi - Thumbnail

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North American Leaders’ Summit 2014

02/16/2014

n-america-leaders-summit

Canada's Prime Minister Harper, President Obama and Mexico's President Pena Nieto hold a press conference

Canada’s Prime Minister Harper, President Obama and Mexico’s President Pena Nieto hold a press conference

On February 19. 2014, Mexico’s President Enrique Pena Nieto will host President Obama and  Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper at the 2014 North American Leader’s Summit (NALS) to be held in Toluca, Mexico.

This meeting  built on wide-ranging and ongoing cooperation among the United States, Canada, and Mexico with a particular focus on economic competitiveness, energy and the environment, and defence and security cooperation. They will also have the opportunity to exchange views on a number of important regional and global security issues.

Canada, the U.S. and Mexico have a successful history of cooperation on environmental issues. This cooperation includes efforts to safeguard North America’s natural resources and ecosystems, as well as efforts to address the global challenges posed by climate change.

The United States, Canada and Mexico celebrate the 20th anniversary of North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). Other successful cooperative agreements like the North American Agreement on Environmental Cooperation (NAAEC) , the Commission for Environmental Cooperation (CEC) safeguard the natural resources of North America.

U.S.-Canada Trade http://www.ustr.gov/countries-regions/americas/canada

U.S.-Mexico Trade  http://www.ustr.gov/countries-regions/americas/mexico

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North American Leaders’ Summit 2014
February 19, 2014
Toluca, Mexico

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President Obama, Canada’s Prime Minister Harper and Mexico’s President Pena Nieto hold a bilateral meeting
Palacio de Gobierno del Estado de Mexico, Toluca, Mexico

President Obama, Canada’s Prime Minister Harper and Mexico’s President Pena Nieto hold a working lunch
Cosmovitral, Botanical Gardens, Toluca, Mexico

President Obama, Canada’s Prime Minister Harper and Mexico’s President Peña Nieto meet with North American Business, Civil Society and Education Leaders
Salon del Pueblo, Palacio de Gobierno, Toluca, Mexico

President Obama, Canada’s Prime Minister Harper and Mexico’s President Pena Nieto participates in the Trilateral North American Leaders Summit Meeting
Courtyard, Palacio de Justicia, Toluca, Mexico

President Obama, Canada’s Prime Minister Harper and Mexico’s President Pena Nieto hold trilateral meetings
Courtyard, Palacio de Justicia, Toluca, Mexico

President Obama, Canada’s Prime Minister Harper and Mexico’s President Pena Nieto hold a press conference
Patio Cental, Palacio de Gobierno, Toluca, Mexico

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US-Jordan Sunnylands Meeting & CA Drought 2014

02/13/2014

American Jordian Flag

 

President Obama  meets with His Majesty King Abdullah II of Jordan at Sunnylands, Rancho Mirage, CA.

The United States and the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan are close friends and historic partners that have worked together to promote peace, prosperity, and reform. President Obama and King Abdullah will hold in depth discussions on a wide range of bilateral, regional and global issues. They look forward to discuss the U.S.-Jordan strategic partnership and how to advance our political, economic, and security cooperation.

U.S.-Jordan Trade http://www.ustr.gov/trade-agreements/other-initiatives

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Friday, February 14 – Monday, February 17

President Obama and Jordan’s King Abdullah II hold bilateral meetings

President Obama and Jordan’s King Abdullah II hold a press conference

President Obama and Jordan’s King Abdullah II hold working dinners

California Drought

In February 2014 the California drought reached for the first time in the 54-year history of the State Water Project to shortages of water supplies. The California Department of Water Resources planned to reduce water allocations to farmland by 50%. The California drought had continued 13th months. California has 38 million residents. Agricultural industry is worth of $44.7 billion. California produces nearly half of all U.S.-grown fruits, nuts, and vegetables and it is the leading dairy state.

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Climate_change_in_California#Drought

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California Institute for Rural Studies:  SURFACE WATER STORAGE AND DELIVERY INFRASTRUCTURE IN CALIFORNIA

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January 29, 2014

Readout of the President’s Call to Governor Brown

Today, the President called Governor Jerry Brown to receive an update on the situation in California and express his concern for the citizens impacted by the historic drought conditions facing the state – conditions that are likely to have significant impacts on the state’s communities, economy and environment in the coming months.

The President reinforced his commitment to providing the necessary federal support to the state and local efforts. The agencies are working together to target resources to help California and other impacted states prepare for and lessen the impacts of the drought. USDA is also working with farmers and ranchers to increase their irrigation water efficiency, protect vulnerable soils from erosion, and improve the health of pasture and range lands. And the Bureau of Reclamation is working closely with federal and California state authorities to facilitate water transfers and provide operational flexibility to convey and store available water, and facilitate additional actions that can conserve and move water to critical areas.

The National Drought Resilience Partnership (NDRP) will help coordinate the federal response, working closely with state, local government, agriculture and other partners. The NDRP is already helping to enhance existing efforts that federal agencies are working on with communities, businesses, farmers and ranchers to build resilience where drought is currently an issue across the country.

http://youtu.be/3OGcUxECrx0.

Friday, February 14 

President Obama takes part in a roundtable with community leaders
San Luis Water Facility, Firebaugh, California

President Obama tours a local farm
Empresas Del Bosque, Inc., Los Banos, California

President Obama delivers remarks on California’s drought
Los Banos, California

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USDA Disaster and Drought Information http://www.usda.gov/wps/portal/usda/usdahome?navid=DISASTER_ASSISTANCE

White House Drought Response  http://www.whitehouse.gov/drought

FACT SHEET: President Obama Leading Administration-wide Drought Response
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~ CONGRESSIONAL ACTION FOR DROUGHT RELIEF ~

Senate drought bill offers $300 million, no waiving of environmental laws

2/12/14 By Josh Richman - bayareanewsgroup

California’s and Oregon’s Democratic senators offered a drought relief bill Tuesday that stands in stark contrast to the Republican bill the House approved last week, setting up a tough battle when lawmakers eventually try to merge the two.

The Senate bill would grant $300 million in emergency aid and require federal agencies to do all they can to boost water supplies, while the GOP bill had focused more on lifting environmental restrictions [such as the  Endangered Species Act] to allow more water to be pumped from the Delta south to San Joaquin Valley farms.

The stakes grow higher as water levels recede. Recent rains made no significant dent in California’s huge water deficit, leaving the state still looking at its worst drought in more than half a century. The Golden State’s $45 billion agricultural sector is at risk of devastation, some smaller water districts might run dry in the next few months, and delicate ecosystems hang in the balance.

President Barack Obama will speak about drought relief Friday in Fresno, most likely with this new bill as rhetorical fodder. Obama, like California leaders and House Democrats, had blasted the House GOP bill as a water grab for agriculture at the environment’s expense and a political power play that would undermine years of difficult negotiations. Agricultural and environmental groups alike praised the senators’ bill Tuesday, if only as a first step.

“This bill provides operational flexibility to increase water supplies and primes federal agencies to make the best use of any additional rain,” U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., said in a news release. “With so little water available, we must focus on streamlining federal programs and provide what assistance we can to those farmers and communities being hit the hardest.”

For more: http://www.mercurynews.com/science/ci_25116906/senate-drought-bill-offers-300-million-no-waiving

Contact your legislator Contact your Congress person to TELL THEM TO PASS THE SENATE’S VERSION OF THE DROUGHT BILL!!

U.S. Senators
U.S. Representatives
Tweet a Message to Your Representatives

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WTO 9th Ministerial Conference 2013

12/01/2013

WTO Bali 2013

World Trade Organization 9th Ministerial Conference
Decemer 3-6, 2013
Bali, Indonesia

The World Trade Organization (WTO) is the only global international organization dealing with the rules of trade between nations. At its heart are the WTO agreements, negotiated and signed by the bulk of the world’s trading nations and ratified in their parliaments. The goal is to help producers of goods and services, exporters, and importers conduct their business.

The World Trade Organization is an organization for trade opening. It is a forum for governments to negotiate trade agreements. It is a place for them to settle trade disputes. It operates a system of trade rules. Essentially, the WTO is a place where member governments try to sort out the trade problems they face with each other.

Lear more: http://www.wto.org/english/thewto_e/thewto_e.htm

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USTradeRepresentative

Office of the United States Trade Representatives (USTR)’s WTO & Multilateral Affairs (WAMA) office has overall responsibility for trade negotiations and policy coordination regarding matters before the World Trade Organization (WTO), including the Doha Development Agenda negotiations.

Specific responsibilities include the operation of various WTO committees, including those established for subject areas such as subsidies, anti-dumping and other trade remedies, import licensing procedures, standards and technical barriers to trade, government procurement, customs/trade facilitation & security matters, WTO Accessions, WTO Trade Policy Reviews, and preferential trade arrangements.

WAMA staff is also often responsible for these issues where they are specifically addressed in individual FTAs. The office has the lead with regard to WTO accessions, and is also responsible for trade policy coordination and negotiations in the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

Learn more: http://www.ustr.gov/trade-agreements/wto-multilateral-affairs

“As a Nation, we need to do everything we can to create good, middle-class jobs right here in America. And one of the best ways we can do that is by boosting manufacturing and expanding trade that allows us to sell more of our goods and services all around the world. We have made important progress toward meeting that goal under our National Export Initiative, and we are taking historic steps to help our businesses access new markets abroad. But we cannot stop there. We need to keep making the investments in commerce and infrastructure that drive our economic growth and bring more Americans into a thriving middle class.

We can start by modernizing our roads, bridges, and ports. These upgrades would allow American companies to ship their goods faster and cheaper, and they would encourage businesses worldwide to set up shop here and bring more jobs to our shores. So earlier this year, I proposed the Partnership to Rebuild America — a collaboration between the private and public sectors to break ground on our most pressing infrastructure projects.

In the past 4 years, we have focused on opening up growing markets for our businesses through historic trade agreements and enforcing trade rights so American workers can compete on a level playing field. To build on that progress, we are joining nations in Asia and the Americas to negotiate a new, high-standard trade agreement: the Trans-Pacific Partnership. Once realized, the deal would boost our exports, support American jobs, and help our companies succeed in the global marketplace. And to ramp up trade with Europe, we also plan to launch talks for a Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership with the European Union.

My Administration is committed to expanding international commerce that creates jobs and grows our economy. During World Trade Week, we recognize workers, growers, and entrepreneurs nationwide who share that ambition, and we rededicate ourselves to advancing it in the year ahead.”

5/17/13 President Obama  
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Sorry but ProPresObama thread comments &
WH daily schedule not available 12/1/13 – 1/5/14
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VP Biden Travel to Japan, China & Republic of Korea

11/30/2013

Vice President Biden travels to Japan, China and the Republic of Korea on Sunday, December 1st, and returns to the United States on Saturday, December 8th. The trip underscores the administration’s strong commitment to the rebalance, and to our enduring role as a Pacific power. It is an opportunity to give lift to our treaty alliances and to advance our very important relationship with China.

In Japan Vice President Biden plans to focus on progress towards a high standard Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement, seek further momentum on key alliance goals, and discuss a range of regional and global challenges. In Beijing, the Vice President will meet with key leaders to consult on global and regional issues of mutual interest. Finally, in Seoul, the Vice President will meet with key leaders to address bilateral, regional and global challenges, including in particular our close cooperation and coordination to address security threats.

operation-tomodachi
Japan
Vice President Biden meets with Japan’s Crown Prince Naruhito
Vice President Biden meets with Japanese Prime Minister Abe
Vice President Biden and Japanese Prime Minister Abe have a working dinner
Vice President Biden meets with members of the Diet, including Japanese Deputy Prime Minister Aso.
Vice President Biden attends an event with Ambassador for Global Women’s Issues Cathy Russell and Ambassador Caroline Kennedy to highlight the role of women in the Japanese economy and the reform agenda on this set of issues being pursued by the Japanese government.
Vice President Biden tours a local technology company that’s owned and run by a woman entrepreneur
Vice President Biden hosts a roundtable discussion to explore the challenges faced by women as they enter and remain in the workplace.

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U.S.-Japan Economic Harmonization Initiative

Launched in November 2010, the U.S.-Japan Economic Harmonization Initiative (EHI) is a new bilateral Initiative that aims to contribute to our countries’ economic growth by promoting cooperation to harmonize approaches that facilitate trade, address business climate and individual issues, and advance coordination on regional issues of common interest.

Click here for further information on business climate and individual issues, as well as cooperative issues, which the U.S. Government has highlighted for engagement with Japan under this Initiative.

U.S.-Japan Trade Facts

U.S. goods and services trade with Japan totaled $267 billion in 2011 (latest data available for goods and services trade combined). Exports totaled $113 billion; Imports totaled $154 billion. The U.S. goods and services trade deficit with Japan was $40 billion in 2011.

Japan is currently our 4th largest goods trading partner with $195 billion in total (two ways) goods trade during 2011. Goods exports totaled $66 billion; Goods imports totaled $129 billion. The U.S. goods trade deficit with Japan was $63 billion in 2011.

Trade in services with Japan (exports and imports) totaled $72 billion in 2011 (latest data available for services trade). Services exports were $47 billion; Services imports were $25 billion. The U.S. services trade surplus with Japan was $22 billion in 2011.

Exports

Japan was the United States’ 4th largest goods export market in 2011.

U.S. goods exports to Japan in 2011 were $66.2 billion, up 9.4% ($5.7 billion) from 2010, and up 1.4% from 2000. U.S. exports to Japan accounted for 4.5% of overall U.S. exports in 2011.

The top export categories (2-digit HS) in 2011 were: Optic and Medical Instruments ($7.7 billion), Machinery ($5.7 billion), Cereals (corn and wheat) ($5.6 billion), Electrical Machinery ($5.0 billion), and Aircraft ($4.8 billion).

U.S. exports of agricultural products to Japan totaled $14.1 billion in 2011, our 4th largest export market. Leading categories include: coarse grains ($3.9 billion), red meats (fresh/chilled/frozen) ($2.8 billion), wheat ($1.4 billion), and soybeans ($954 million).

U.S. exports of private commercial services* (i.e., excluding military and government) to Japan were $47.0 billion in 2011 (preliminary data), 5% ($2.3 billion) more than 2010 and 43% greater than 2000 levels. Other private services (business, professional, and technical services and financial services), travel, and the royalties and license fees categories accounted for most of U.S. services exports to Japan.

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China
Vice President Biden, Chinese President Xi, Vice President Li and Chinese Premier Li hold bilateral meets to cover the broad range of bilateral, regional and global issues.
Vice President Biden holds high-level, personal engagement between the top leaderships of our two countries that is an essential part of advancing the U.S.-China relationship in the 21st century that continues the progress that President Obama and President Xi started at Sunnylands, California and the 2013 G20.

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U.S.-China Trade Facts

U.S. goods and services trade with China totaled $539 billion in 2011. Exports totaled $129 billion; Imports totaled $411 billion. The U.S. goods and services trade deficit with China was $282 billion in 2011.

China is currently our 2nd largest goods trading partner with $503 billion in total (two ways) goods trade during 2011. Goods exports totaled $104 billion; Goods imports totaled $399 billion. The U.S. goods trade deficit with China was $295 billion in 2011.

Trade in services with China (exports and imports) totaled $36 billion in 2011 (preliminary data). Services exports were $25 billion; Services imports were $11 billion. The U.S. services trade surplus with China was $13 billion in 2011.

Exports

China was the United States= 3rd largest goods export market in 2011.

U.S. goods exports to China in 2011 were $103.9 billion, up 13.1% ($12.0 billion) from 2010, and up 539% from 2000. It is up 442% since 2001 (when China entered the WTO). U.S. exports to China accounted for 7.0% of overall U.S. exports in 2011.

The top export categories (2-digit HS) in 2011 were: Machinery ($12.2 billion), Miscellaneous Grain, Seed, Fruit (soybeans) ($10.7 billion), Electrical Machinery ($10.1 billion), Vehicles ($6.8 billion), and Aircraft ($6.4 billion).

U.S. exports of agricultural products to China totaled $18.9 billion in 2011, the 2nd largest U.S. Ag export market. Leading categories include: soybeans ($10.5 billion), cotton ($2.6 billion), hides and skins ($1.2 billion), and coarse grains ($843 million).

U.S. exports of private commercial services* (i.e., excluding military and government) to China were $24.7 billion in 2011, (preliminary data), 17% ($3.6 billion) more than 2010 and 393% greater than 2000. It is up 357% since 2001. Other private services (business, professional and technical services and education services), travel, and the royalties and license fees categories accounted for most of U.S. services exports to China.

US Korea Flags

South Korea
Vice President Biden meets with South Korean President Park and South Korean Prime Minister Jong.
Vice President Biden delivers the keynote address at Yonsei University on the U.S.-Korea relationship, which celebrated its 60th anniversary of the alliance this year, as well as on the U.S. approach and policy towards the Asia Pacific at large.
Vice President Biden meets with both of our countries’ troops and to receive a briefing on security on the peninsula.
Vice President Biden lays a wreath at a cemetery honoring those Americans who gave their lives six decades ago to help secure a free and democratic South Korea.

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New Opportunities for U.S. Exporters Under the U.S.-Korea Trade Agreement

The entry into force of the U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement on March 15, 2012 means countless new opportunities for U.S. exporters to sell more Made-in-America goods, services, and agricultural products to Korean customers – and to support more good jobs here at home. If you’re an American exporter, here are resources to answer your questions about how the U.S.-Korea trade agreement can work for you:

• Check out the FTA Tariff Tool to find out the new tariff levels for your products, and other information about your market access under the agreement.

The United States and the Republic of Korea signed the United States-Korea Free Trade Agreement (KORUS FTA) on June 30, 2007.

U.S.-Korea Trade Facts

U.S. goods and services trade with Korea totaled $125 billion in 2011. Exports totaled $60 billion; Imports totaled $65 billion. The U.S. goods and services trade deficit with Korea was $6 billion in 2011.

Korea is currently our 7th largest goods trading partner with $100 billion in total (two ways) goods trade during 2011. Goods exports totaled $44 billion; Goods imports totaled $57 billion. The U.S. goods trade deficit with Korea was $13 billion in 2011.

Trade in services with Korea (exports and imports) totaled $25 billion in 2011 (preliminary data). Services exports were $17 billion; Services imports were $8 billion. The U.S. services trade surplus with Korea was $8 billion in 2011.

Exports

Korea was the United States= 7th largest goods export market in 2011.

U.S. goods exports to Korea in 2011 were $43.5 billion, up 12.0% ($4.7 billion) from 2010, and up 56% from 2000. U.S. exports to Korea account for 2.9% of overall U.S. exports in 2011.

The top export categories (2-digit HS) in 2011 were: Machinery ($6.1 billion), Electrical Machinery ($6.1 billion), Optic and Medical Instruments ($2.9 billion), Aircraft ($2.6 billion), and Mineral Fuel (oil) ($2.6 billion).

U.S. exports of agricultural products to Korea totaled $7.0 billion in 2011, the 5th largest U.S. Ag export market. Leading categories include: coarse grains ($1.8 billion), red meats (fresh/chilled/frozen) ($1.2 billion), hides and skins ($470 million), wheat ($466 million), and cotton ($394 million).

U.S. exports of private commercial services* (i.e., excluding military and government) to Korea were $16.8 billion in 2011 (preliminary data), 11% ($1.7 billion) more than 2010 and 143% greater than 2000 levels. Other private services (education and business, professional and technical services and education services), royalties and license fees, and the travel categories accounted for most of U.S. services exports to Korea.

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P .
Sorry but ProPresObama thread comments &
WH daily schedule not available 12/1/13 – 1/5/14

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Vice Pres Biden’s Trip to Panama

11/15/2013

US PanamaThe Panama Canal is a 77.1-kilometre (48 mi) ship canal in Panama that connects the Atlantic Ocean (via the Caribbean Sea) to the Pacific Ocean. The canal cuts across the Isthmus of Panama and is a key conduit for international maritime trade. There are locks at each end to lift ships up to Gatun Lake, an artificial lake created to reduce the amount of excavation work required for the canal, 26 metres (85 ft) above sea level. The current locks are 33.5 metres (110 ft) wide. A third, wider lane of locks is currently under construction and is due to open in 2015.

For more: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Panama_canal

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.VP Biden en Panama

 Monday, November 18th 

Vice President Biden and Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx tour the port of Houston, Houston, Texas

Tuesday, November 19th

Vice President Biden accompanied by Secretary of Transportation Foxx, respresentatives from both parties of Congress and city leaders to meet with President Martinelli and to tour the Panama Canal expansion project
Panama

Vice President Biden and Panamanian President Martinelli hold a bilateral meeting, Palacio de las Garzas , Panama City, Panama

Vice President Biden and Panamanian President Martinelli deliver statements to the press, Palacio de las Garzas , Panama City, Panama

Vice President Biden participates in wreath-laying ceremony, Corozal American Cemetery and Memorial, Panama City, Panama

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Vice President Biden to Travel to Panama

October 25, 2013 – panama.usembassy.gov

Vice President Joe Biden will travel to Panama the third week of November to meet with President Martinelli and to tour the Panama Canal expansion project. In his meeting with President Martinelli, the Vice President will discuss our bilateral partnership and emphasize our mutual interest in improving integration in Central America as a means to accelerate regional economic growth. The Vice President’s visit to the Panama Canal expansion project follows on his September visits to the ports of Baltimore, Charleston, and Savannah to highlight the importance of infrastructure investments in the United States. The project will nearly triple the capacity of the canal and will allow significantly larger ships to call on U.S. ports, helping spark job creation and prosperity at home and across the Americas.

.US built exports

A Report to Congress Addressing “the Critical Need for Additional Port and Inland Waterway Modernization to Accommodate Post- Panamax Vessels”

• U.S. population growth increasing 100 million within 30 years

• U.S. exports to the Americas increased from $250 billion to nearly $750 billion during between 2008 and 2011. U.S. imports and exports are projected to increase significantly

• Worldwide numbers of post-Panamax vessels increasing

• Opportunities for economically justified port expansion are expected to be greatest along the Southeast and Gulf coasts – Corps is conducting 17 port specific studies to identify expansion needs

• Increased grain exports through the Gulf can be expected as a result of transportation cost savings associated with the use of larger vessels – The capacities of the Inland Waterways serving the export market needs to be maintained to take advantage of this opportunity

For more: http://www.iwr.usace.army.mil/portals/70/docs/portswaterways/Post-Panamax_Study_Webinar_July_19_2012.pdf

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FACT SHEET: Modernizing and Investing in America’s Ports and Infrastructure

November 08, 2013

FACT SHEET: Modernizing and Investing in America’s Ports and Infrastructure

On November 8th, President Obama will speak from the Port of New Orleans, one of the nation’s largest ports, where he will reiterate his call to invest in rebuilding America’s infrastructure, including strategic ports along the Mississippi River such as the Port of New Orleans, which support U.S. commerce and trade.

Despite making significant progress under the President’s leadership, there is still much more work to be done across the country to improve our nation’s infrastructure. That’s why the President continues to call for greater investments. Rebuilding our roads, bridges and ports will not only put Americans back to work, but also help to expand trade, keep American businesses competitive and create even more jobs here at home.

* Ports like the one in New Orleans and around the Mississippi River Valley play a central role in the American economy by facilitating global trade and exports.

* That’s why the Obama Administration has invested significant resources into New Orleans.

* The President’s support for the Port of New Orleans has helped grow the region’s exports

* But more remains to be done, and the President has proposed increasing investments in infrastructure and continuing to promote a broad trade agenda

President Obama Understands that America’s Ports Are Key to Our Competitiveness.

For more: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2013/11/08/fact-sheet-modernizing-and-investing-america-s-ports-and-infrastructure

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Congressional Reform Act of 2013

10/18/2013

US Congress

Congressional Reform Act of 2013

1. No Tenure / No Pension.

A Congressman/woman collects a salary while in office and receives no pay when they’re out of office.

2. Congress (past, present & future) participates in Social Security.

All funds in the Congressional retirement fund move to the Social Security system immediately. All future funds flow into the Social Security system, and Congress participates with the American people. It may not be used for any other purpose.

3. Congress can purchase their own retirement plan, just as all Americans do.

4. Congress will no longer vote themselves a pay raise.Congressional pay will rise by the lower of CPI or 3%.

5. Congress loses their current health care system and participates in the same health care system as the American people.

6. Congress must equally abide by all laws they impose on the American people.

7. All contracts with past and present Congressmen/women are void effective 01/31/2013. The American people did not make this contract with Congressmen/women.

Congressmen/women made all these contracts for themselves.
Serving in Congress

8. Term limits will be set the same as president. A two term limit for all congressman/women will take effect immediately and all pensions stop for everyone past and present. They made enough money by being in office for two terms, now they can go and get a job with that nice resume they have, just like the rest of us would have to do.

Serving in Congress is an honor, not a career. The Founding Fathers envisioned citizen legislators, so ours should serve their Term(s), then go home and back to work

To sign the petition: http://petitions.moveon.org/sign/congressional-reform-152

Learn about the United States Congress

 

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