During his remarks, Senator Wyden stated:
“If the Administration and Congress approach critical junctures in trade, let’s talk about how we can expand the winners circle so that more workers gain and fewer businesses lose as a result of decisions made by the United States Congress.
“A new Trade Promotion Authority framework is one specific opportunity. If the goal of TPA renewal is to establish trade objectives to enable more people to win from trade then the process of its renewal, as this organization has made clear over the years, can benefit from broad input. Our economy is quite different from that of the economy of 2002, when TPA was last written, and there are new opportunities and challenges related to international trade and investment that I think will be huge winners for American workers and American families.
“… Right now, the trade rules don’t neatly apply to the digital economy. They don’t apply despite the fact that there is a growing number of protectionist practices that we’re facing with overseas and barriers popping up … It’s time for the digital economy also to be brought within the winners circle by keeping data flows open.”
Prior to Senator Wyden’s remarks, the NFTC presented its 2013 World Trade Award to Dr. Fred Bergsten, renowned world-class economist and founding director of the Peterson Institute for International Economics.
“The lesson I take away from my whole set of experiences is that in pursuit of open markets internationally, in pursuit of free trade and investment and pursuit of a constructive and reasonably successful global economic system, one has to be patient and persevere,” said Dr. Bergsten in his acceptance remarks.
Dr. Bergsten also highlighted the significance of the ongoing Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations, stating, “We did lay out a vision for free trade in the Asia-Pacific region. … It took awhile to get going, but here we are almost 20 years later and at least half, maybe two-thirds of that vision is about to be realized with the successful negotiations of the Trans-Pacific Partnership. My bet is if that succeeds it will then lead to the next step, a truly free trade area of the Asia-Pacific and the whole vision will be implemented.”
“We are pleased to have the opportunity to honor Fred for his steadfast commitment to international trade and engagement, and we admire and appreciate his work to advance the U.S. trade agenda,” said NFTC President Bill Reinsch.
The World Trade Award was established in 1937 by the Dollar family of San Francisco in memory of Captain Robert Dollar, a pioneer in American shipping and world trade and a charter member of the NFTC. In 1938, Cordell Hull, then-Secretary of State, was the first recipient of the Award.
Last night’s World Trade Dinner was widely attended by policymakers, members of the business community, ambassadors and embassy officials from a number of countries, including Australia, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Egypt, Morocco, Nicaragua, New Zealand, Oman, South Korea, United Kingdom and Vietnam, among others.