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Washington Outlook Archive
James A. Morrissey, Washington Correspondent

Administration Outlines Its Trade Agenda

By James A. Morrissey, Washington Correspondent

The US Trade Representative (USTR) has sent Congress a review of 2005 and an outline of its agenda for 2006 that calls for completion of the Doha Round of trade negotiations by year’s end and continuing efforts to negotiate bilateral and regional pacts designed to open markets for US exports.

“The potential benefits from the successful Doha Round for the United States and its trading partners, especially in the developing nations, are enormous, and we will continue to do all we can to achieve a successful result. In parallel to its Doha Round efforts, the administration will move vigorously to negotiate new bilateral and regional trade agreements to create a host of new opportunities for US workers, farmers and businesses, USTR Rob Portman said.”

Emphasizing that it is important that trade rules be “fair and aggressively enforced” Portman assured lawmakers the administration will continue to use “all available tools” to ensure trading partners live up to their international trade obligations. He said the emergence of China as a global trading partner has created both challenges and opportunities, and he pointed out that the administration has ordered a top-to-bottom review of its trade policies involving China in order to “better monitor and enforce” China’s compliance with its obligations as a WTO member.

Portman said the administration’s “vigorous” free trade efforts in the coming year will be designed to promote economic growth and stability in other countries as well as new US job opportunities. 

March 7, 2006