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NFTC Sets Trade and Investment Agenda
Date: 3/8/2005

Washington, DC – The National Foreign Trade Council today set its Trade and Investment Agenda, reaffirming its role as the preeminent business association dedicated solely to international trade and investment issues.

"Without question, 2005 will be a landmark year for international trade and investment issues. From ensuring progress in the Doha Round, to expanding trade and engagement in the Middle East, to reforming U.S. sanctions policy, NFTC will continue to be a leader in international trade issues and a vital resource for business and government," said NFTC President Bill Reinsch.

"Through broad-based advocacy with policy makers and opinion leaders, technical expertise, and forums with leaders in government and the private sector, NFTC will play a key role in advancing public policies that foster an open international trade and investment regime," added Reinsch.

Through its Trade and Investment Agenda, NFTC and its partner organization USA*Engage, will provide leadership in key issue areas including:

- Doha Round of WTO Negotiations - NFTC will provide a broad-based U.S. business voice and leadership for an ambitious outcome to the negotiations by co-chairing the Doha Round Working Group of 20 major U.S. companies, leading delegations to Geneva and the Hong Kong Ministerial and through position papers on key issues, including GATS Mode 4 and tariff and regulatory transparency.

- Bilateral and Regional Free Trade Agreements - NFTC will continue to support high quality trade agreements throughout the world, particularly in the Middle East. As co-secretariat of the U.S.-Middle East Free Trade Agreement Coalition (US-MEFTA Coalition), NFTC will work to secure passage of the US-Bahrain FTA and seek early conclusion of FTAs with UAE and Oman. These agreements are part of President Bush's Middle East Free Trade Area Initiative, which will help advance market-oriented economic reforms and trade liberalization in the region.

- Visa Policy USA*Engage will be a leading advocate for changes in visa requirements to facilitate normal international commercial travel. This will be accomplished by demonstrating to the Executive Branch the impact of visa delays and procedural hurdles on companies' abilities to conduct routine international business transactions.

- Sanctions Reform – USA*Engage will continue to be the leading organization opposing unilateral sanctions and will work to increase understanding of their ineffectiveness as a foreign policy tool by recruiting co-sponsors and lobbying for the passage of the Sanctions Policy Reform Act (S. 270). In addition, USA*Engage will lobby against new unilateral sanctions proposals and support repeal of existing sanctions.

- Alien Tort Statute – USA*Engage will play a leadership role in business efforts to combat the growing number of alien tort lawsuits by working with other trade associations and companies to present the costs of the lawsuits to the economy to the Executive Branch and the courts through amicus curie briefs.

- International Tax – NFTC will continue to support the ratification of international tax treaties and through Tax Committee Meetings and Tax Lunch Forums, will work with leaders in government and the private sector on key international tax issues.

"This is an ambitious agenda that will keep NFTC, USA*Engage and the U.S.-South Africa Business Council at the forefront of major trade and investment issues in the year ahead," concluded Reinsch.

NFTC's Trade and Investment Agenda is available in its entirety on the NFTC website (



The National Foreign Trade Council ( 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 in Washington and New York.