Amendments ‘pose grave danger’ to TPA and the Doha Agenda, says Reinsch
Washington DC – In light of last week’s bipartisan agreement on Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA), the National Foreign Trade Council urged the Senate to move forward quickly with final passage of Trade Promotion Authority (TPA), but warned against controversial amendments that will tie the hands of United States trade negotiators and torpedo the Doha Agenda.
“The Dayton-Craig amendment promises to destroy the chances of the U.S. leading an ambitious trade liberalization agenda in the Doha Agenda of multilateral trade negotiations and will prevent the U.S. from negotiating future trade agreements that maximize benefits to American farmers, consumers, workers, and businesses,” said Bill Reinsch, President of the National Foreign Trade Council. “As the world’s largest trader, we stand to gain the most in leading the rest toward great market openness and strengthened rules-based trade.”
The Dayton-Craig Amendment would in effect carve out U.S. trade remedy laws from future trade negotiations and would torpedo the Doha Agenda. If Congress adopts this course of action, other countries are more than likely to do the same for important U.S. negotiating objectives as laid out by Congress in the pending TPA legislation. For example, the European Union and Japan might rule out in advance an agreement to reduce tariffs that decrease opportunities for U.S. exporters.
In addition to the Dayton-Craig amendment, the NFTC is strongly opposed to the Kerry amendment, which would weaken protection for U.S. investors. The United States has been a leader in setting high standards of protection for U.S. investors, particularly in markets that lack transparency, due process and impartial judicial systems. The Kerry amendment would seriously set back this decades-long policy of high standards of investment protection.
“The Senate Finance Committee-approved bill addresses the concerns that have been raised on U.S. trade laws, investment, environment, and labor in a sensible and meaningful manner that reflects a delicate compromise on these issues,” said Reinsch. “The Dayton-Craig, Kerry and other controversial amendments would undermine this careful balance. These amendments pose grave danger to the integrity of Trade Promotion Authority – and that is a gamble Congress cannot afford to take,” according to Reinsch.