President Asks for Trade Promotion Authority Extension

Fast-track provides negotiating power in ongoing trade talks.

President Bush has called on Congress for an extension to the Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) for an additional two years.

Since the passage of TPA in 2002, Congress and the Administration have been able to more quickly craft and pass market-opening agreements. In his request to Congress, President Bush says that by working with Congress, his Administration "has completed trade agreements with 12 nations on 5 continents that will open a combined market of 124 million consumers for America's farmers, manufacturers, and service providers."

TPA currently applies to trade agreements signed before July 1, 2005. The Administration's request will automatically extend that deadline to July 1, 2007 unless either House disapproves by July 1, 2005.

Senate Finance Chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, says the United States is in the midst of a number of important trade negotiations that offer significant economic benefits and the prospect of substantially enhancing America's ability to compete in the international marketplace.

"Extension of Trade Promotion Authority is vital to the successful completion of these negotiations," Grassley says. "I'm confident that after reviewing the record on TPA and weighing the potential benefits of these ongoing negotiations, members of Congress will agree that extending TPA is both necessary and appropriate."

In Bush's letter, he states that not only does TPA provide a gateway to free and fair trade but it also deepens partnerships with countries that want to trade in freedom.


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