Letter of 14 December 2009 from Ronald Kirk to Nancy Pelosi, Speaker, US House of Representatives

Dear Madam Speaker:

On behalf of the President, I am pleased to notify Congress that the President intends to enter into negotiations of a regional, Asia-Pacific trade agreement, known as the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Agreement, with the objective of shaping a high-standard, broad-based regional agreement. This agreement will create a potential platform for economic integration across the Asia-Pacific region, a means to advance US economic interests with the fastest-growing economies in the world, and a tool to expand US exports, which are critical to our economic recovery and the creation and retention of high-paying, high-quality jobs in the United States. Successful conclusion of the TPP negotiations will require a high-standard, 21st century agreement with a membership and coverage that provides economically significant new market access opportunities for America’s workers, farmers, ranchers, service providers, and small businesses.

The huge markets of the Asia-Pacific region already are key destinations for US manufactured goods, agricultural products, and service suppliers. US goods exports to the Asia-Pacific region totalled $747 billion in 2008, up 8.3 per cent over the previous year, with agricultural products comprising $76 billion of the 2008 total, a 30 per cent increase over 2007. US services exports totalled $187 billion in 2008, up 7.7 per cent over 2007. US small- and medium-sized enterprises alone exported $173 billion to the Asia-Pacific in 2008.

Yet even as our exports have grown, we have seen a proliferation of trade agreements in the Asia-Pacific region to which the United States is not a party. While the United States has concluded some agreements, there are now 175 preferential trade agreements in force that include Asia-Pacific countries, with another 20 awaiting implementation and more than 50 others under negotiation. These agreements, as well as other economic developments, have led to a significant decline in the US share of key Asia-Pacific markets over the past decades. A declining US market share in the Asia-Pacific region means fewer export-created American jobs. Through the TPP Agreement, we intend to reverse this trend and enhance US competitiveness and our share of job-creating economic opportunities in the region.

Our TPP negotiating partners currently include Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Chile, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, and Vietnam. These countries form an initial group of ‘like-minded’ countries that share a commitment to concluding a high-standard trade agreement. US participation in the TPP Agreement is predicated on the shared objective of expanding this initial group to additional countries throughout the Asia-Pacific region. Several already have expressed interest in potentially participating in the agreement. We will consult with Congress as we consider additional members and as we work to further expand the economic significance of the TPP Agreement and to ensure that it remains high-standard.

The Administration is committed to establishing a new partnership with Congress to develop US negotiating objectives for the TPP Agreement. Beginning immediately and continuing throughout the negotiations, the Administration will hold regular and rigorous consultations on all elements of the agreement in order to develop negotiating positions consistent with both Administration and Congressional priorities and objectives. The goal is to work closely with Congress and other stakeholders to shape a 21 st century regional trade agreement that will benefit US workers, manufacturers, service suppliers, farmers, ranchers, small businesses, and consumers.

As the Administration develops US negotiating objectives for this regional agreement, we will review our approach to the range of issues that the US free trade agreements have addressed in the past, recognising that the concerns of US workers, businesses, farmers, and consumers have evolved overtime. In undertaking that review, the Administration will work closely with Congress on the elements of a high-standard regional agreement that, as appropriate, updates the US approach to traditional trade issues, addresses new issues, incorporates new elements that reflect our current values and priorities, and responds to 21st century challenges.

For example, working together with Congress, the Administration hopes to develop innovative ideas for using the TPP Agreement to promote new technologies and emerging economic sectors, create new opportunities for US small- and medium-sized businesses to increase exports to the region, and help US firms participate in production and supply chains in order to encourage investment and production in the United States. We also will work with Congress to enhance the agreement’s focus on environmental protection and conservation, transparency, workers rights and protections, and development. We could ultimately include other issues that are identified.

We also look forward to working with Congress to address the challenges we will face throughout these negotiations. These include how to negotiate a new regional agreement with countries with which we already have bilateral free trade agreements, how to integrate developing economies like Vietnam into a high-standard agreement, and how to address US sensitivities on trade in agriculture and other sectors. The TPP Agreement provides an opportunity to develop a new model for US trade negotiations and a new regional approach that focuses more on jobs, enhances US competitiveness, and ensures that the benefits of our trade agreements are shared by all Americans. We look forward to working closely with you as we set US objectives and carry out negotiations to conclude this important new agreement.

Sincerely Ronald Kirk

Explanation of policy

In the third example, a letter to the president of the Security Council is used by the United Kingdom to report action taken in Syria against ISIS under Article 51 of the UN Charter.34 In exercising the inherent right of individual and collective self-defence.

The UK letter to the president of UN Security Council:35

In accordance with Article 51 of the Charter of the United Nations, and further to our letter of 25 November 2014 (S/2014/851), I am writing to report to the Security Council that the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland has undertaken military action in Syria against the so-called Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) in exercise of the inherent right of individual and collective self-defence.

On 21 August 2015, armed forces of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland carried out a precision air strike against an ISIL vehicle in which a target known to be actively engaged in planning and directing imminent armed attacks against the United Kingdom was travelling. This air strike was a necessary and proportionate exercise of the individual right of self-defence of the United Kingdom.

As reported in our letter of 25 November 2014, ISIL is engaged in an ongoing armed attack against Iraq, and therefore action against ISIL in Syria is lawful in the collective self-defence of Iraq.

I request that you circulate the present letter as a document of the Security Council.

(Signed) Matthew Rycroft


In crisis diplomacy, states find it necessary sometimes to duplicate or reinforce the channels of communication. This might be a safeguard to ensure that their policy is actually getting through, or, alternatively, an attempt to influence opinion in the other state by the use of a wide number of channels. The former was no doubt the reason why, in the Cuban missile crisis, the United States attempted to use the secretary-general of the United Nations as one of the routes to communicate the US decision on a 500-mile quarantine around Cuba to the Soviet Union.38

Letter of 27 October 1962 from Adlai E. Stevenson, defining interception area around Cuba

Excellency: My Government has instructed me to inform you that the ‘interception area’ referred to in your letter of 25 October to the President of the United States and in his reply of 26 October, comprises:

a the area included within a circle with its centre at Havana and a radius of 500 nautical miles, and,

b the area included within a circle with its centre at Cape Maysi (Maisi), located at the eastern tip of the island of Cuba, and a radius of 500 nautical miles.

You may wish to pass the above information to Chairman Khrushchev, so that he can proceed in accordance with his 26 October letter to you, in which he stated that he had ordered the masters of Soviet vessels bound for Cuba, but not yet within the interception area, to stay out of the area.

Accept, Excellency, the renewed assurances of my highest consideration.

Ad lai E. Stevenson

Gulf War

In the lead-up to the Gulf War, the then President Bush, in circumstances of mounting tension, sent Secretary' Baker on a final mission to deliver a letter to President Saddam Hussein, at a meeting with Iraqi Foreign Minister Tariq Aziz in Geneva, warning Iraq not to use chemical or biological weapons and to step back from war. Aziz refused to deliver the letter, leaving it on the table, and the talks broke up.37

International Monetary Fund letter to ministers and governors, dated 13 November 2008

The joint demarcation of responsibilities by the IMF and FSF in the international trade and eurozone crisis is a rare public document sent to G-20 ministers and governors of the IMF, issued at the onset of the financial crisis. The document deals with the sensitive issue of overlap between the activities of the IMF and FSF, and seeks to clarify the functions of each. The document is discussed further in Chapter 8.38

November 13, 2008

Dear Ministers and Governors:

The financial crisis has underscored the importance of international coordination both in responding to the crisis and in developing and implementing policies for a sounder financial system.

Coordination is important as well across the international financial institutions and bodies that support the efforts of national governments, including the IMF and the FSF.

  • 1 Surveillance of the global financial system is the responsibility of the IMF.
  • 2 Elaboration of international financial sector supervisory and regulatory policies and standards, and coordination across the various standard setting bodies, is the principal task of the FSF. The IMF participates in this work and provides relevant inputs as a member of the FSF.
  • 3 Implementation of policies in the financial sector is the responsibility of national authorities, who are accountable to national legislatures and governments. The IMF assesses authorities’ implementation of such policies through FSAPs, ROSCs and Article IVs.
  • 4 The IMF and the FSF will cooperate in conducting early warning exercises. The IMF assesses macro-financial risks and systemic vulnerabilities. The FSF assesses financial system vulnerabilities, drawing on the analyses of its member bodies, including the IMF. Where appropriate, the IMF and FSF may provide joint risk assessments and mitigation reports.

Sincerely yours

Dominique Strauss Kahn

Managing Director

o O

International Monetary Fund


Mario Draghi


Financial Stability Forum

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