Speaking at the United Nations, President Bush just mentioned the pending U.S.-Peru Free Trade Agreement and the Doha Round of WTO negotiations. From the White House fact sheet:
Liberation From Poverty And Despair
In the long run, the best way to lift people out of poverty is through trade and investment. Open markets ignite growth, encourage investment, increase transparency, strengthen the rule of law, and help countries help themselves. The United States has both the will and the flexibility to help conclude a successful Doha Round, and the President urges other leaders to direct their negotiators to demonstrate the same spirit. The Doha round of trade talks is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to open up markets, create new trade flows, and help millions escape poverty, and the President is optimistic that we can reach a good agreement. The United States will continue to pursue market-opening agreements that increase trade and investment. We recently signed free trade agreements with Peru, Colombia, Panama, and South Korea. These agreements embody the values of open markets, transparent and fair regulation, respect for private property, and resolving disputes under international law rules. They are now moving towards a Congressional vote, and the President urges Congress to approve them as soon as possible.
The President’s remarks come in the context of aiding the developing world, while around here we argue for free-trade agreements largely as a matter of enlightened self-interest. In any case, the House Ways & Means Committee is reviewing the Peru-U.S. FTA this morning, and Chairman Rangel has helped move Congress away from the misleading zero-sum debate that protectionists prefer.
NAM President John Engler’s message this week is on the Peru agreement, as well.
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