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NFTC Joins New Campaign to Urge Congress to Renew Trade Promotion Authority
Date: 2/12/2007
Written By: Susan Mora or Jennifer Cummings, The Fratelli Group for NFTC, 202-822-9491

Calls For Timely Renewal of TPA to Advance Trade Negotiations to Open Markets and Boost Economic Growth

Washington DC - The National Foreign Trade Council (NFTC) today joined several other leading U.S. business groups and companies in launching Trade for America, a campaign dedicated to supporting the timely renewal of U.S. trade negotiating authority, also referred to as Trade Promotion Authority (TPA).  During a press conference at the National Press Club with U.S. Trade Representative, Ambassador Susan Schwab, Trade for America underscored the importance of renewing U.S. trade negotiating authority before it expires on June 30, 2007.

"Timely renewal of TPA is vital to U.S. trade leadership in expanding and opening markets to American firms, workers and farmers. The United States is the world's largest trader and most open market, but 95% of the world's population is outside the United States,” said NFTC President Bill Reinsch. “We must, as a nation, and with a united voice, continue to negotiate market-opening trade agreements to advance continued US economic growth and opportunity.  Above all, we need to conclude as soon as possible a successful and ambitious Doha Round to open markets on a multilateral basis, which will generate the most good for the most people.”
 
"We cannot afford to be sidelined on trade.  The world is not waiting to negotiate market-opening trade agreements, many of which exclude the United States.  According to the WTO, between January 2004 and February 2005, over 45 preferential trade agreements were negotiated.  There are well over 200 of them today,” said Mary Irace, NFTC Vice President of Trade & Export Finance. “Without U.S. trade negotiating authority, other countries will be unwilling to negotiate with the United States for fear that U.S. commitments and concessions would not hold weight.  In particular, they would be unwilling to put important politically sensitive concessions on the table.”
 
Today's launch of Trade for America is comprised of a wide range of companies and trade associations representing key sectors of the U.S. economy.  All of the groups involved, including the NFTC, believe that trade negotiating authority is a fundamental part of U.S. global economic leadership.
 
According to Irace, “We are hopeful that there will be a breakthrough on the Doha Round in the next month or two.  Timely renewal of U.S. trade negotiating authority will demonstrate that the United States remains committed to leading the trade talks to a successful conclusion. At a minimum, a short-term, one-year extension of TPA should be enacted as soon as possible to ensure that the Round is completed within a year."
 
"We're in support of the Administration's push to renew this legislation with all deliberate speed and will work with Congress over the course of the next few months in support of legislation to extend the negotiating authority," concluded Irace.


 Advancing Global Commerce for Over 90 Years

The National Foreign Trade Council (www.nftc.org) is a leading business organization advocating an open, rules-based global trading system. Founded in 1914 by a broad-based group of American companies, the NFTC now serves hundreds of member companies through its offices inWashington and New York.