US Trade Representative Outlines Bush Administration’s Agenda

As the Bush administration enters its final year, US Trade Representative Susan B. Schwab has
outlined an agenda that calls for approval of free trade agreements (FTAs), continuing pursuit of
the Doha Round of trade liberalization negotiations and addressing trade problems with China, “with
dialogue where possible and enforcement when necessary.”

Schwab expressed her concern over some of the legislation pending in Congress, saying, “This
is not a good time for Congress to be seeking quick fixes for complex international economic
challenges.” And she warns that unilateral actions can lead to retaliation.

With respect to specific issues, she called once again for congressional approval of the
pending FTAs with Colombia, Panama and South Korea. US textile and apparel manufacturers and
importers seem to be ready to go along with the Colombia and Panama agreements, but they are widely
split with regard to South Korea, and it appears at this time there is very little likelihood it
will be approved.

In a far-ranging discussion, Schwab called for continuation of a spirit of bipartisan
cooperation that has emerged since the Democrats took control of Congress. “Together we have
started down a new road, but we have yet to reach the final destination — indeed some fear that the
destination keeps being moved,” she said.

Referring to a May 10, 2007, agreement between leaders of Congress and the administration,
Schwab said, “I thought then, and I still believe that we can achieve a unified American approach
to economic engagement and leadership in the world that transcends party, president and Congress.”

Turning to China, Schwab mentioned a number of recent successes with cases the administration
has taken to the World Trade Organization (WTO), pointing out that the United States has won or
successfully settled cases 96 percent of the time. She said the United States is ready and willing
to settle disputes with China in “a business-like manner,” but warned that the admistration has
serious concerns about “unintended consequences of proposed legislation targeting China.”

Although the Doha Round of Trade negotiations has been on dead center for months, she says
the US government will continue to press ahead for an outcome that will “increase economic growth
and development and alleviate poverty by generating new trade flows in agriculture, goods and
services.” Schwab added: “The time for playing games is over. We have a window of opportunity. Let’s
use it and use it wisely.”

She believes the remaining months of the Bush administration will be “very busy on the trade
front, because we have the opportunity to get a lot of work done.”

January 29, 2008