Thank you for holding this important hearing, Mr. Chairman. I welcome Ambassador Barshevsky to the Senate Banking Committee. Thank you for taking the time to be with us here today. I appreciate your hard work, dedication and commitment to opening markets for American goods, and especially the trona industry in southwest Wyoming.
As you know, market access continues to be a major problem for many U.S. industries, not just Wyoming's soda ash industry. Due in part to a cutting edge high-tech industry, the U.S. is the leader in the services industries. According to statistics by the International Trade Administration, services now account for about 80% of gross domestic product in the U.S. The export of services from the U.S. accounts for about $260 billion, while imports of services amount to only $181 billion. This gives the U.S. a positive services trade balance of nearly $80 billion. Increased market access and removal of restrictions will help keep the U.S. services sectors in a positive trade balance.
Ambassador, I thank you for your commitment to breaking down the barriers to trade for U.S. goods and services. I believe part of the reason behind the robust economy of the past few years has been the U.S. commitment to open markets. Your efforts in this regard do not go unnoticed. I am anticipating the opportunity to work with you in Seattle later this month. I look forward to hearing more about the Administration's agenda going into the Seattle Ministerial. Thank you.