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Statements from U.S. Trade Representative Robert B. Zoellick on House passage of the Trade Promotion Authority bill

Robert B. Zoellick
US Trade Representative

[August 1 , 2002]

July 27, 2002

As President Bush has made clear, this vote for TPA is a win for the American people and for our economy. The Authority to negotiate these agreements lapsed 8 years ago, and we have paid a price - America fell behind other nations.

I want to thank the House leadership and all the members who demonstrated with their vote the importance of trade for the workers in their districts and the American people. With TPA, we can get back to the crucial task at hand: growing markets to benefit our farmers, workers, and families.

Now we are on to the Senate, where we hope to secure a victory next week. We will then be poised, with the backing of Congress, to move on all fronts to advance the American trade agenda.

The TPA package already contains trade openings for the four Andean countries, Africa, and developing countries around the world. With TPA, we will be able to complete our Free Trade Agreement negotiations with Chile and Singapore in short order. Then we will initiate other FTA agreements and the President has already highlighted Central America and Morocco.

Just last week we put forward a far-reaching global agricultural reform proposal in the global trade negotiations in the World Trade Organization. TPA gives us the credibility and the ability to drive ahead those negotiations, which also cover other sectors such as services and manufacturing.

And we will push to complete negotiations regarding the Free Trade Area of the Americas on the same aggressive time frame as the global talks.

 


August 1 , 2002

Eighteen months ago, President Bush launched the drive to restore America's leadership on trade. A fundamental component of this initiative was the passage of new Trade Promotion Authority by the Congress. Today, with the hard work of Senators from both parties, we achieved that landmark victory.

As President Bush stated earlier, this is an historic day. After World War II, America employed trade to help shape a positive agenda of growth and openness for four decades. With the end of the Cold War, the Executive-Congressional partnership for trade lapsed for almost a decade. Now it is reestablished, and the President intends to press the causes of trade and openness to help shape the world at the opening of a new century.

This package of trade legislation offers a boost to the U.S. and global economy. America's exports already account for about 12 million U.S. jobs. Over the past decade, U.S. exports accounted for about a quarter of the country's growth. One in three acres of American farms are planted for sales overseas.

During our eight years without Trade Promotion Authority, America has fallen behind. Our world-class products—from tractors, to software, to french fries—have been squeezed out of markets by other nations aggressively negotiating free trade deals around the world.

Today's bipartisan action by the Senate, following the successful vote in the House last week, will open America's markets right away to developing countries in Latin America, Africa, and the Caribbean.

With TPA, we will be able to complete free trade agreements with Chile and Singapore in short order.

With TPA, we will have the credibility and the ability to advance our agenda in the new global trade negotiations—including our far-reaching agricultural reform proposal announced last week, and our aggressive initiatives in services and manufacturing.

With TPA, vital trade preferences for Bolivia, Ecuador, Peru, and Colombia will be renewed immediately, benefiting thousands of workers seeking to avoid the illegal narcotics trade in those nations. 

With TPA, important amendments to the highly successful African Growth and Opportunity Act will take effect right away, helping to lift families out of poverty in Africa.

With TPA, the Generalized System of Preferences will now be renewed, assisting thousands in the Caribbean and, over 100 other developing economies struggling to gain a foothold in the global economy.

With TPA, we will initiate new negotiations for Free Trade Agreements with Central America and Morocco.

With TPA, we are able to consider Free Trade Agreements with other nations, such as Australia and in Southern Africa.

With TPA, we will push to complete negotiations regarding the Free Trade Area of the Americas on the same aggressive time frame as the global talks.

And with TPA, we can get back to the crucial task at hand: expanding markets to benefit our farmers, workers, and families.

As President Bush has made clear, this vote for TPA was a win for the American people for our economy, and for the world.

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August 5, 2002

 

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