US-Jordan Sunnylands Meeting & CA Drought 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


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.





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.

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

USDA Disaster and Drought Information

White House Drought Response

FACT SHEET: President Obama Leading Administration-wide Drought Response


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:

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


2014 Winter Olympics – Sochi, Russia


Winter Olympics Sochi 2014

The Winter Olympic Games is a major international sporting event that occurs once every four years. The first celebration of the Winter Olympics was held in Chamonix, France, in 1924. The original sports were alpine and cross-country skiingfigure skatingice hockeyNordic combinedski jumping and speed skating. The Games were held every four years from 1924 until 1936, after which they were interrupted by World War II. The Olympics resumed in 1948 and were celebrated every four years. The Winter and Summer Olympic Games were held in the same years until 1992, after a 1986 decision by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to place the Summer and Winter Games on separate four-year cycles in alternating even-numbered years. Because of the change, the next Winter Olympics after 1992 were in 1994.

For more:


2014 Winter Olympics - Sochi, Russia

Team USA - Sochi 2014

2014 Winter OlympicsSochi, Russia

February 7 - 23, 2014

Team USA:


2014 Paralympics - Sochi, Russia

March 7 - 16, 2014

Team USA:

Team USA Twitter
Team USA Facebook
Team USA YouTube

U.S. Presidential Delegations to the Opening and Closing Ceremonies of the 2014 Olympic Winter Games

President Obama and First Lady Michelle hosts the 2014 Sochi Olympic and Paralympic Athletes

President Obama and First Lady Michelle hosts the 2014 Sochi Olympic and Paralympic Athletes



Rainbow spectrum

In June 2013, Russia’s State Duma passed a law banning the “propaganda of nontraditional sexual relations” to minors. The U.S. government understands that this law applies to both Russian citizens and foreigners in Russia.  Russian citizens found guilty of violating the law could face a fine of up to 100,000 rubles ($3,100). Foreign citizens face similar fines, up to 14 days in jail, and deportation. The law makes it a crime to promote LGBT equality in public, but lacks concrete legal definitions for key terms, and provides vague guidance as to which actions will be interpreted by authorities as “LGBT propaganda.”

The United States places great importance on the protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms of all people, including lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender persons, as well as anyone attending or participating in the Olympic and Paralympic Games. The U.S. calls on Russia to uphold its international commitments regarding freedom of assembly and association and freedom of expression, now and in the future.

LGBT travelers should review the State Department’s LGBT Travel Information page.

Forward For Equality_sml

WTO 9th Ministerial Conference 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:



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:

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

VP Biden Travel to Japan, China & Republic of Korea


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.

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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.

usa 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.


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.


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.

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


Vice Pres Biden’s Travel to Panama


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:


.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

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


Vice President Biden to Travel to Panama

October 25, 2013 –

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:

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:


Congressional Reform Act of 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:

Learn about the United States Congress



P5+1 Negotiations – Geneva 2013


UN Geneva

The P5+1 is a group of countries which in 2006 joined the diplomatic efforts with Iran in regard to its nuclear program. The term refers to the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany, namely United StatesRussiaChinaUnited Kingdom,France and Germany. P5+1 is sometimes referred to as the E3+3 by European countries.



* Background Briefing on P5+1 Negotiations

P5+1 Meeting
October 15-16, 2013
Geneva, Switzerland

Secretary of State Department Under Secretary Wendy R. Sherman to lead the United States’ delegation


UPDATE:   Iran, six world powers clinch breakthrough nuclear deal

11/23/13 1 hour ago By Parisa Hafezi and Justyna Pawlak – Reuters

GENEVA (Reuters) – Iran and six world powers reached a breakthrough agreement early on Sunday to curb Tehran’s nuclear program in exchange for limited sanctions relief, in a first step towards resolving a dangerous decade-old standoff.

The deal between the Islamic state and the United States, France, Germany, Britain, China and Russia was nailed down after more than four days of negotiations.

“We have reached an agreement,” Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif announced on his Twitter feed. French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius also confirmed the deal.

Iran will get access to $4.2 billion in foreign exchange as part of the accord, a Western diplomat said. No other details of the agreement were immediately available.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and foreign ministers of the five other world powers joined the negotiations with Iran early on Saturday as the two sides appeared to be edging closer to a long-sought preliminary agreement.

The talks were aimed at finding a package of confidence-building steps to ease decades of tensions and banish the specter of a Middle East war over Tehran’s nuclear aspirations.

The Western powers’ goal had been to cap Iran’s nuclear energy program, which has a history of evading U.N. inspections and investigations, to remove any risk of Tehran covertly refining uranium to a level suitable for bombs.

For more:

November 23, 2013

Statement By The President On First Step Agreement On Iran’s Nuclear Program

THE PRESIDENT: Good evening. Today, the United States — together with our close allies and partners — took an important first step toward a comprehensive solution that addresses our concerns with the Islamic Republic of Iran’s nuclear program.

Since I took office, I’ve made clear my determination to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon. As I’ve said many times, my strong preference is to resolve this issue peacefully, and we’ve extended the hand of diplomacy. Yet for many years, Iran has been unwilling to meet its obligations to the international community. So my administration worked with Congress, the United Nations Security Council and countries around the world to impose unprecedented sanctions on the Iranian government.

These sanctions have had a substantial impact on the Iranian economy, and with the election of a new Iranian President earlier this year, an opening for diplomacy emerged. I spoke personally with President Rouhani of Iran earlier this fall. Secretary Kerry has met multiple times with Iran’s Foreign Minister. And we have pursued intensive diplomacy — bilaterally with the Iranians, and together with our P5-plus-1 partners — the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Russia, and China, as well as the European Union.

Today, that diplomacy opened up a new path toward a world that is more secure — a future in which we can verify that Iran’s nuclear program is peaceful and that it cannot build a nuclear weapon.

While today’s announcement is just a first step, it achieves a great deal. For the first time in nearly a decade, we have halted the progress of the Iranian nuclear program, and key parts of the program will be rolled back. Iran has committed to halting certain levels of enrichment and neutralizing part of its stockpiles. Iran cannot use its next-generation centrifuges, which are used for enriching uranium. Iran cannot install or start up new centrifuges, and its production of centrifuges will be limited. Iran will halt work at its plutonium reactor. And new inspections will provide extensive access to Iran’s nuclear facilities and allow the international community to verify whether Iran is keeping its commitments.

These are substantial limitations which will help prevent Iran from building a nuclear weapon. Simply put, they cut off Iran’s most likely paths to a bomb. Meanwhile, this first step will create time and space over the next six months for more negotiations to fully address our comprehensive concerns about the Iranian program. And because of this agreement, Iran cannot use negotiations as cover to advance its program.

For more:

Vice President Biden’s Mexico Travel


Vice President Joe Biden travels to Mexico to highlight our strong relationships in the region.

Vice President Biden will launch the U.S.-Mexico High Level Economic Dialogue and participate in an education event highlighting the Bilateral Forum on Education, Innovation and Research. He will meet with President Peña Nieto, underscoring the United States’ commitment to deepening our close economic relationship with Mexico, our third largest trading partner in the world, and the strength of our broad bilateral relationship.


US-Mexico Relations At a Glance

The two countries share a maritime and land border in North America. Several treaties have been concluded between the two nations bilaterally, such as the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). Both are members of various international organizations, including the Organization of American States and the United Nations.

The two countries have close economic ties, being each other’s first and third largest trading partners. They are also closely connected demographically, with over one million U.S. citizens living in Mexico and Mexico being the largest source of immigrants to the United Sates. Illegal immigration and illegal trade in drugs and in fire arms have been causes of differences but also of cooperation.

To learn more:

Viice President Biden and Mexican President Peña Nieto in Mexico City, Mexico  - September 20, 2013

Viice President Biden and Mexican President Peña Nieto in Mexico City, Mexico – September 20, 2013


Vice President’s Mexico Trip Itinerary

Wednesday, September 18
11:30 AM ET
Vice President Biden meets with U.S. participants in the U.S.-Mexico High Level Economic Dialogue
Roosevelt Room, White House

Thursday, September 19
10:00 PM ET
Vice President Biden and Dr Jill Biden is welcomed to Mexico
Benito Juarez International Airport

Friday, September 20
Vice President Biden meets with Mexico’s President Peña Nieto to participate in the launch of the U.S.-Mexico High Level Economic Dialogue

Vice President Biden attends the inaugural meeting of the U.S.-Mexico High Level Economic Dialogue

Vice President Biden participates in an education event highlighting the Bilateral Forum on Education, Innovation and Research

Vice President Biden and  Mexico’s President Peña Nieto hold a bilateral meeting

Pres Obama’s Travel to Sweden and 2013 G20 Leaders’ Summit


Pres Obama Sweden Trip

August 07, 2013

Statement by the Press Secretary on the President’s Travel to Sweden

Before traveling to Russia, the President will travel to Stockholm, Sweden, on September 4 and 5.  Sweden is a close friend and partner to the United States.  Sweden plays a key leadership role on the international stage, including in opening new trade and investment opportunities through the U.S.-EU Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, advancing clean technologies, and promoting environmental sustainability.

US – EU Trade Agreement

Welcome to #KTH, Obama! #ObamainSweden— KTH aktuellt (@KTHinfo) August 31, 2013

Sweden American flags


G20 Russia 2013

The G20 was created in December 1999 in response to the financial crises affecting the emerging countries in the late 1990s. The initial aim was to have the finance ministers and central bank governors of the industrialised and emerging countries meet once a year to facilitate international economic policy cooperation.

Confronted with the deepest economic and financial crisis since World War II, the G20 went into high gear in late 2008 at the initiative of France, the holder of the rotating EU presidency at the time. What emerged was an economic steering body that brought together the world’s major political leaders at the highest level. At the pioneering Washington Summit in November 2008, heads of States and governments agreed on an extraordinary plan of action to prevent the financial system and the global economy from collapsing.

The 8th G20 Leaders’ Summit will be held on September 5-6, 2013 in St. Petersburg, Russia.

G20 Russia:


Rainbow spectrum

President Obama’s Sweden, G20 Russia Travel Schedule

Tuesday, September 3
President Obama departs Washington, DC en route Stockholm, Sweden

Wednesday, September 4
President Obama is welcomed to Stockholm, Sweden

President Obama and Prime Minister Reinfeldt hold a bilateral meeting and joint press conference, Stockholm, Sweden

President Obama participates in an event honoring Raoul Wallenberg at the Great Synagogue, Stockholm, Sweden

President Obama tours an expo featuring clean energy innovations
Royal Institute of Technology (KTH), Stockholm, Sweden

President Obama attends a dinner with Nordic Leaders, Stockholm, Sweden

Thursday, September 5
President Obama and the King and Queen of Sweden hold a bilateral meeting, Stockholm, Sweden

President Obama departs Stockholm en route Saint Petersburg, Russia

President Obama attends G-20 Summit Leaders working session on growth and the global economy,  Konstantinovsky Palace, Saint Petersburg, Russia

President Obama attends the G-20 Leaders working dinner on sustainable development,   Konstantinovsky Palace, Saint Petersburg, Russia

Friday, September 6

President Obama attends the G-20 Leaders session on investing in growth and Summit session on investing in growth and jobs, Saint Petersburg, Russia

President Obama participates in the G-20 Leaders family photo
Konstantinovsky Palace, Saint Petersburg, Russia

President  Obama participates in the G-20 Leaders working lunch on growth and trade,  Konstantinovsky Palace, Saint Petersburg, Russia

President Obama participates in a press conference,  Konstantinovsky Palace,, Saint Petersburg, Russia

President Obama meets with human rights activists and LGBT rights groups, Crowne Plaza Hotel, Saint Petersburg, Russia

President Obama returns to Washington, DC

Rainbow spectrum



FLOTUS @ Natl Council of La Raza & VPOTUS India/Singapore Travel


2013 NCLR Banner

NCLR is proud to exhibit its growth and success at the NCLR Annual Conference, representing the largest and most important gathering of the nation’s most influential individuals, organizations, institutions, and companies working with the Hispanic community. The NCLR Annual Conference has grown with its gente, providing a forum for people in the business of social change to learn about ongoing and emerging issues in the Hispanic community, connect with key community leaders, and generate partnerships with Hispanic community-based organizations.

For more:

FLOTUS LaRaza 2013

Tuesday, July 23 @ 12:30 PM ET
First Lady Michelle Obama delivers the key note address to the 2013 National Council of La Raza
Morial Convention Center, New Orleans, LA

NCLR Live Stream:


India flagSingapore flag

Vice President Biden’s Trip to India and Singapore

19 July 2013

Washington — Vice President Biden will visit India and Singapore the week of July 22 to highlight the U.S. rebalancing of its foreign policy toward Asia and the Pacific and to encourage greater economic cooperation, including expanding the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal.

A senior Obama administration official who spoke to reporters on background in a July 19 teleconference said the vice president will arrive in New Delhi July 22 and meet with Indian officials, including Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. He will also travel to Mumbai during his India visit. His discussions will cover bilateral economic cooperation, energy and climate issues, and cooperation on regional and defense issues, including maritime security, counterterrorism and Asia’s multilateral institutions.

Biden told an audience in Washington July 18 that with regard to Asia and the Pacific, the Obama administration is focused on “the risks of disruptions of commerce, proliferation, human disasters, conflict between nations and the persistent threat posed by North Korea.”

In response, the administration’s approach has been to strengthen its alliances in the regions, deepen security partnerships and invest “like never before” in Asian regional institutions to help them manage disputes peacefully, he said.

Empowered and growing Asian and Pacific region middle classes can help lift the global economy, he said, and progress can be made “if nations reject the temptations of zero-sum thinking and rise peacefully together, if progress toward greater rights and freedoms proves that no country has to make a choice between democracy and development, which is a false choice.”

The senior administration official said Biden plans to make a speech in Mumbai July 25 on ways to improve trade, and how there is a “strategic convergence” between the United States and India on maritime security and navigation, fair trade rules and shared democratic values.

In his remarks, Biden said India is increasingly looking east as a force for security and growth and “to us that’s welcome news.”

“We welcome India’s engagement in the region, and we welcome its efforts to develop new trade and transportation links by land and by sea in the area,” he said.

Before departing for Singapore, the vice president will also give a speech in Mumbai on women’s empowerment and the importance of their increased participation in science and math, the administration official said.

On July 26, Biden will meet with Singaporean leaders including Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and President Tony Tan Keng Yam for consultations on maritime security and the South China Sea, as well as Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations, before returning to the United States July 27.

Biden said Singapore, a country of 5 million people, has become the 17th largest economy in the world and is an important U.S. partner on issues ranging from counterproliferation to counterpiracy.

In promoting the Trans-Pacific Partnership in Singapore and elsewhere, “we want to help lead in creating the 21st century rules of the road that will benefit not only the United States and the region, but the world as a whole. The lifeblood of the region, to state the obvious, is economic development,” Biden said.

“To spark new growth, there has to be fewer barriers at and behind our borders; protections for intellectual property to reward innovation; new commitments to make sure everyone plays by the same rules because that’s what attracts investment and jobs; as well as greater economic integration,” Biden said.

The vice president said the Trans-Pacific Partnership is ambitious, but “doable,” and “we’re working hard to get this done this year.”

The vice president’s wife, Jill Biden, will accompany him on the trip, will participate in a health and nutrition event in India, and will take part in events concerning girls’ education and gender-based violence. In Singapore, she will also participate in an early education event and a barbecue for U.S. service members, the official said.

Vice President Biden’s India Schedule – July 22 – 25, 2013

US-India Trade

Vice President Biden’s Singapore Schedule - July 26 – 27, 2013

US-Singapore Trade


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 260 other followers