U.S. Trade Representative Susan Schwab’s statement on the expiration and renewal of Trade Promotion Authority:
“America needs to remain open for business to the 95 percent of the world’s consumers living outside the United States. American workers cannot afford for us to hang up a ‘Closed for Business’ sign. The United States must be in the game and not on the sidelines as other nations negotiate deals that disadvantage our businesses, farmers, ranchers and service providers. Our trading partners and competitors are already negotiating and closing trade deals around the world. At least 100 regional trade agreements have gone into force since 2002 and more than 100 are under negotiation. The President – indeed every President – should have TPA to ensure that the United States can best advance our country’s trade interests.
President Bush has used Trade Promotion Authority to open new markets for American farmers, ranchers, manufacturers, and service providers. With TPA, the United States was at the negotiating table, and able to reaffirm U.S. leadership in expanding the free and fair flow of commerce around the world to the benefit of the U.S. economy. U.S. exports to the ten countries with which we have implemented FTAs since 2001 have increased nearly twice as fast as U.S. exports to the rest of the world (25% vs. 13%). These exports have contributed to solid economic growth and job creation. Our agreements also provide American workers and their families a wider range of affordable products.
The Bush Administration and Congressional leaders have found a bipartisan path forward for Congressional approval of FTAs with Peru, Colombia, Panama, and Korea. I am hopeful this spirit of cooperation will guide our efforts to renew TPA, as President Bush requested in January, to keep the United States at the table negotiating for the continued benefit of the American people.”
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