From America’s Business: ‘The Last Word’ by John Engler

By February 3, 2007Trade

Congress faces a big choice this year on trade and the economy: Will it renew the President’s authority to negotiate effective trade agreements, or will it turn its back on expanding U.S. exports?

The issue is “Trade Promotion Authority” — the ability of the Administration to negotiate trade agreements and then submit them to Congress for an up-or-down vote.

This “fast-track authority” lets other countries know that they can count on us to defend what we negotiate. Without that assurance, other countries won’t take us seriously, and they sure won’t negotiate with us.

Trade Promotion Authority enables the Administration to effectively try to complete the Doha Round, a worldwide agreement that will lower the barriers to U.S. exports.

It also helps reach one-on-one deals with other countries, lucrative markets like Malaysia and South Korea. And where we have Free Trade Agreements, the data is clear: U.S. exporters more than hold their own.

Manufactured goods are two-thirds of America’s total exports of goods and services, so manufacturers have a huge stake in this debate.

The NAM calls on Congress to move quickly to renew Trade Promotion Authority, opening the door for more trade agreements that let U.S. exports grow…and our economy prosper.

(From this week’s “America’s Business,” the NAM’s weekly radio program with host Mike Hambrick.)