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Remarks of U.S. Trade Representative Ambassador Susan Schwab NFTC’s 94th Annual World Trade Dinner and Award Ceremony
Date: 9/10/2008


Bill, thank you very much… thank you again for the invitation to join you all at the National Foreign Trade Council dinner. This is an event that I enjoy every year or as often as I… as I can get here.  And I just want to speak very, very briefly tonight about a couple of themes that will color our activities through the balance of this administration.  One, getting things done, we have as you all know, a very ambitious trade agenda and the rest of the world isn’t stopping for our election and neither are we.  So we have free trade agreements that need to be enacted into law.

 We have Doha round negotiations that continue, we have enforcement activities, a veritable sprint to the finish.  And the second theme therefore is bi-partisanship and Bill mentioned that he and I go backs aways.  Bill and I go back so far that I remember when Bill a Republican  and we met 25 years ago or started working together some 25 years ago on Capitol Hill and I will tell you that the National Foreign Trade Council could find no more honest broker, pro-US, active leader than Bill Reinsch. And this organization reflects the great work of its members, of its leadership and we very much appreciate both.
 But since there’s no such thing as a free lunch or a free dinner in this town, here are your assignments going forward.  One, you need to keep government, Congress accountable when it comes to trade.  There can’t be passes for bad behavior, for promises not fulfilled.  So you need to keep us accountable, that’s both parties accountable.  And ultimately you will serve as the continuity when it comes to the trade agenda.  The National Foreign Trade Council, other trade associations, the business community, after I step down from my job in January, you will be there and it is up to you to carry a trade agenda, a pro-trade agenda, an agenda that is in the interests of the US economy and the global economy of US workers and farmers forward into the future.

 As I said, the world’s not going to pause for our election and so I thank you for this invitation, I offer you this challenge and look forward to working with you as we sprint to the finish, thank you.