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Press Releases

White House reorganization proposal raises concerns among trade advocates
Date: 1/13/2012
Written By: The Hill, By Vicki Needham

Excerpt: President Obama's plan to streamline several agencies within the executive branch landed with a thud among trade advocates on Friday. Lawmakers and businesses groups expressed concern that the White House plan to merge a number of trade and commerce agencies, especially the U.S. Trade Representative's office, could stymie trade and job creation. … National Foreign Trade Council President Bill Reinsch said the plans to consolidate USTR "could interfere with efforts to engage key stakeholders, including the U.S. business community, and to maximize trade, economic growth and job creation.” “Congress has historically been reluctant to combine USTR with other functions, preferring to have our chief trade negotiator concentrate on negotiating rather than be burdened with broader programmatic responsibilities," he said. Coalition for Employment Through Exports President John Hardy Jr. said that any efforts beside merging the agencies into one building "will most likely result in reduced responsiveness to the needs of U.S. exporters." “In our experience, we have found that smaller, more nimble agencies are better able to respond to the needs of American business, a reality that this proposal seems to ignore," he said.