SECRETARY EVANS PUSHES TRADE PROMOTION AUTHORITY
At a meeting before the Georgia Chamber of Commerce in Atlanta last Thursday, U.S. Commerce Department Secretary Donald L. Evans affirmed the administration’s commitment to secure Trade Promotion Authority.
Trade Promotion Authority insures Congress cannot amend a trade deal after it is negotiated and can only approve or reject it.
“Without such assurances, other nations have no reason to sit down with our negotiators,” Evans said. “They don’t know what they’ll be getting at the end of the day.”
There are more than 130 preferential trade agreements worldwide, but the U.S. government only belongs to two of these agreements.
“Our competitors are busy signing deals, while U.S. negotiators sit on the sidelines without the Trade Promotion Authority they need to show that the White House and Congress are united on their efforts to promote trade,” Evans said. “Bluntly, we have to get off the sidelines and back into the game. The president needs to have negotiating authority.”
“We intend to work closely with Congress this fall, not only for passage of Trade Promotion Authority, but to rebuild the political consensus we need to engage our counterparts at the bargaining table,” Evans said.