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U.S. Trade Rep Will Lobby For “Fast-Track” Authority

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Spencer, IA: (Feb. 24, 2014) – U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman signaled late last week that the Obama administration plans to convince Congress to pass trade promotion authority by negotiating such a strong Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement that members will want to give the administration the authority to finish it.

In a speech during the USDA’s Ag Outlook Forum last week, Froman added that Congress has “recognized the infeasibility” of designating 535 people, the membership of the House and Senate, as trade negotiators.

Trade Promotion Authority, also known as “Fast Track,” would require Congress to vote for or against a trade pact negotiated by the administration. No amendments would be allowed.

Froman acknowledged that there are questions about the impact of trade on the U.S. economy. He conceded that there has been a great increase in productivity while there has not been an equal increase in jobs, and there is great concern about inequality. But he said the solutions to those problems are improved infrastructure and education and more free trade.

Froman said that “trade done right is part of a solution……” He added, “We know exports grow jobs and good high-paying jobs in the United States.”

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