Pascal Lamy, director general of the World Trade Organization, stated the plain facts in a news conference yesterday with U.S. Trade Representative Susan Schwab: Congressional reauthorization of Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) is essential if the Doha Round of the WTO talks are to succeed.
“We’re nearing crunch time in the Doha Round,” Lamy said he told members of Congress, since January led by opposition Democrats who may refuse to extend the TPA to a Republican president.
“We need Congress to be aware that activity, motion, determination, progress in a renewal of Trade Promotion Authority is important for the momentum in the negotiations.”
In this account, Lamy reports on a measure of congressional receptence toward the trade deals, which a little encouraging.
A successful completion to Doha would bring down tariffs and other barriers to U.S. exports worldwide, and the President needs TPA to move ahead with Doha and other bilateral agreements. (NAM fact sheet here.) Otherwise, Europe will just move ahead, cutting its own advantageous trade deals while the United States sits and ….sits. Look at this headline: EU sees talks with ASEAN, India, SKorea on free-trade pacts in months. Can we really afford to surrender U.S. leadership?
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