Trade Looms Large

By November 19, 2004Trade

Among the issues the new Congress will have to face are some critical trade votes. For starters, the President’s Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) will expire on 6/1/05, but can be extended for two more years. Also, under the Uruguay Round Agreements Act of 1994, Congress has the opportunity to vote every 5 years on whether the US should remain a member of the WTO. We stay in the WTO absent a vote to remove us.

These are both critical votes. More trade is better than less trade. We added almost 300,000 auto jobs in this country in the years after NAFTA passed, even though some folks speak of NAFTA in only pejorative terms. Of our 90,000-some exporters to Australia, some 70,000 are small manufacturers, puncturing the old myth that trade somehow only inures to the benefit of large companies. In our membership is an army of small and medium manufacturers (SMMs) who are aggressively exporting around the globe.

As for the WTO, while some folks may carp, anarchy is a bad alternative. We need to say in the body of nations and take every opportunity to make sure our trading partners comply with the full range of WTO rules.

Click here Download file
for a link to the NAM press release on these upcoming critical trade votes.