For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
May 10, 2001
The President's 2001 International Trade Agenda
The President's 2001 International Trade Agenda 2001 International Trade Legislative Agenda
"Open trade fuels the engines of economic growth that create new jobs
and new income. It applies the power of markets to the needs of the
poor. It spurs the process of economic and legal reform. It helps
dismantle protectionist bureaucracies that stifle incentive and invite
corruption. And open trade reinforces the habits of liberty that
sustain democracy over the long term."
-- President George W. Bush, April 17, 2001
Introduction & Background
For some 60 years, Presidents and Congresses of both
parties worked together to open markets around
the globe. This successful collaboration
is among the main reasons for 17 years
of economic growth, peace and freedom that we know today.
But since 1994, the Executive
Branch has not had the authority it needs from the Congress to
negotiate agreements to continue this prosperity. The
bill has now come due. The European
Union has 27 preferential or special customs agreements with
other countries and is negotiating 15 more. Japan is negotiating a free trade agreement with Singapore
and considering agreements with Mexico, Korea and
Chile. There are over 130 preferential
trade agreements in the world today -- and the United States
is a party to only two of them.
Now, more than ever, U.S.
leadership is essential to reinvigorating the
international trading system, including launching
a new round of global negotiations, as well as regional and bilateral
History has shown that expanded trade -- imports as well as
exports -- leads to more prosperous U.S. businesses, more
choices of goods and lower prices
for consumers, and more opportunities for
American farmers and workers
leading to higher wages, more jobs and
economic growth. Expanding trade
brings particular benefits to lower-income Americans who are
squeezed both as consumers and taxpayers.
Expanding trade also has many benefits abroad.
Open markets promote
economic and political freedom around
the world; economic and political freedom in turn
creates competition, opportunity and independent thinking
that strengthen democracy; and greater political
freedom and democracy across the globe substantially enhance U.S. national
security. As we dismantle trade barriers around the
world, especially in the developing
world, we help create the economic
and social conditions necessary for
countries to make progress on the environment, observance of labor
standards, the protection of children, and other critical issues.
The President's trade agenda for 2001 is intended to further
each of these benefits of expanding markets for American
consumers, farmers and workers,
and to advance a forward
strategy for freedom, economic development and
increased living standards around the world
by pursuing a new round of
global trade negotiations, a Free
Trade Area of the Americas, and other important regional and bilateral
The President's 2001 International Trade Agenda
President Bush's 2001 legislative agenda for international
below, reflects his commitment to open markets around the
world for American workers, farmers, and
businesses and to provide lower prices and
greater choices for U.S. consumers and
industries. It also reflects the
President's commitment to work with the Congress to rebuild
the bipartisan consensus for American leadership
in the trade arena. It serves no one's interest for the
United States to remain on the sidelines.
For that reason, the President has placed enactment of U.S. Trade
Promotion Authority at the top of his trade legislative
agenda. The attached outline presents aconceptual framework that distills those principles the
President believes should shape a renewed grant of
trade negotiating authority. Central to this approach is flexibility for the
take full advantage of the market-opening opportunities that
themselves in the coming years while maintaining
the closest possible consultation and collaboration with the Congress.
The President seeks to build an American trade
agenda from the ground up, reflecting the
views and interests of American farmers, workers,
businesses, and the American people. Our negotiating
objectives -- to open foreign markets for U.S.
goods, services, farm products, and intellectual property, combat
unfair trade practices, protect American businesses abroad from
discriminatory treatment to name but a few -- must represent an agenda
that serves the interests of all Americans.
An important part of that agenda
is addressing trade-related labor and
environmental concerns. As President Bush said
last month in Quebec City:
"Our commitment to open trade
must be matched by a strong commitment to protecting our environment
and improving labor standards."
The conceptual framework for U.S. Trade Promotion
Authority set out below recognizes that there are many ways
to carry out this commitment. The TPA framework makes clear that these goals must be
pursued in a way that respects U.S. sovereignty and avoids
Enclosed with this agenda is an illustrative "toolbox" of
actions that the
United States can take in combination
with trade negotiations to promote these important
goals. The President has expressed his desire to work with
the Congress to refine these ideas as well as the
other concepts included in the framework for U.S. Trade Promotion
The outline that follows also
describes the other key components of the
President's 2001 trade legislative
agenda. As an important complement to the grant of U.S.
Trade Promotion Authority, the President seeks to improve
this country's trade adjustment assistance programs for workers by
emphasizing improvements in skills training. To rebuild a
national consensus in support of
trade, American workers must have the tools that
allow them to compete in new jobs and new
industries when job transitions occur.
Consistent with the President's overall
goals for training and
education, these programs should increasingly be
geared toward helping American workers meet the challenges of the 21st
The President's agenda also asks the Congress to implement
three important commercial agreements to help bolster
security and promote open markets in
vital regions of the world -- a bilateral
free-trade agreement with Jordan
and bilateral trade agreements with
Vietnam and Laos. In addition, the
President urges the Congress to re-authorize
the Generalized System of Preferences program and Andean
Trade Preferences Act, and pass legislation
providing similar trade benefits for
the nations of southeast Europe, a region that has been beset by
conflict in recent years. These programs are
important because they allow us to help
developing countries and emerging markets begin the process
of integrating themselves into the world trading system.
Last year, the Congress enacted the African
Growth and Opportunity Act to
encourage and promote economic growth
and reform in sub-Saharan Africa.
This legislation holds real promise for helping to
economies into the world trading system. The
Congress should consider whether more progress can be made along these
In conclusion, the President has developed a broad trade legislative
agenda that serves America's best
interests. The Administration is committed to
working with the Congress, the states, and
interested groups to shape the
agenda and build the consensus needed to pass
trade legislation with overwhelming bipartisan
support. From the President's perspective, now is
the time to roll up our sleeves
and get to work on behalf of American workers, farmers, businesses, and
a brighter American future.
Outline of the President's International Trade Agenda
U.S. Trade Promotion Authority
Statement of Purposes
Economic growth, higher living standards, higher wages and
full employment in the United States;
Economic growth, development, reduction of poverty, and
increased democratization around the world;
Mutually supportive trade and environment, and trade
and labor, policies;
More open, equitable and reciprocal market access for
U.S. goods, services and investment;
The reduction or elimination of barriers and other
trade-distorting policies and practices that decrease
market opportunities for U.S. exports;
The reduction or elimination of unfair trading
A more open, transparent, and effective system of
international trade disciplines and procedures.
A new round of global trade negotiations under the
auspices of the WTO to promote global economic growth
and reinvigorate the international trading system;
A Free Trade Area of the Americas agreement to expand
economic cooperation and opportunity in the Western
Other regional and bilateral trade negotiations,
including free trade agreements with Chile and
Singapore, to advance our national interests.
Negotiating Objectives to Advance U.S. Priorities
Expand market opportunities for U.S. goods, services and intellectual
Reducing or eliminating tariffs and
other barriers that
impede U.S. exports from competing in foreign markets.
Enhancing market opportunities for U.S. agriculture.
Dismantling barriers to exports of U.S. services.
Keeping electronic commerce free from trade barriers.
Reducing or eliminating artificial or trade-distorting
barriers to U.S. foreign investment.
Encouraging protection for U.S.-created intellectual
property and creating export opportunities for goods
embodying U.S. intellectual property.
Preserving our ability to combat unfair trade practices.
Encouraging the protection of children and adherence to core
labor standards in connection with international trade in a
manner consistent with U.S. sovereignty and trade expansion.
Encouraging mutually supportive trade and
protection polices, in accordance with the
sustainable development and in a manner consistent with U.S.
sovereignty and trade expansion.
that U.S. rights under trade agreements are secured
through rapid, effective, and transparent enforcement
procedures appropriate to the parties, nature,
and subject matter of the agreements.
Improving the transparency and management of international
trade organizations and agreements.
Helping developing countries realize
the benefits of the international trading system.
governments to observe procedural due process in
adopting rules and regulations and to
combat corruption affecting international trade.
Additional Measures in Support of Negotiations
whether to initiate negotiations, take into
account whether the country has implemented
its Uruguay Round obligations.
Work to ensure that provisions in
trade agreements are
compatible with important domestic policy
as health, safety, environmental
protection, and improved
Consider environmental effects when formulating negotiating
positions, take into account the
results of environmental
reviews performed, and encourage trading partners to conduct
environmental reviews of trade agreements.
Strengthening Congressional Consultation
In order for TPA
to apply to negotiated agreements, each
agreement must make progress toward
achieving applicable negotiating objectives.
In addition to seeking input from the public, the
Administration will also notify and consult with the
Congress and advisory committees at key stages
of each negotiation and after the agreement is concluded, including
Notifying the Congress before beginning negotiations
and consulting on specific objectives.
Keeping relevant Congressional committees and
Congressional trade advisors informed of negotiations
on a timely basis at all stages of the negotiations.
Notifying and consulting with the Congress and trade
advisory committees well in advance of signing any
agreement regarding how the agreement meets applicable
Consulting with relevant Congressional committees on
how an agreement affects issues within their
jurisdiction, on plans for implementing the agreement,
and on any related agreements the President plans to
Duration of Authority
The President needs U.S. Trade Promotion Authority for a
sufficient time to allow completion of several regional and
bilateral agreements and to begin and possibly complete global
trade negotiations. Anextension mechanism would also allow the
Congress to determine whether to continue this authority.
The President will need the appropriate authority to reduce
tariffs, including the authority to fulfill the objectives of WTO
zero-for-zero and harmonization agreements.
Improve Worker Training, Education and Adjustment
Re-authorize and improve Trade Adjustment Assistance programs
to promote worker re-training necessitated by
sudden economic dislocation.
Implement the U.S.-Jordan Free Trade Agreement
To create a free trade area between the United States and Jordan
in order to support Jordan's domestic economic reforms, encourage
efforts by other support Jordan's domestic economic reforms, encourage
and enhance regional stability.
To provide benefits to consumers and businesses in the United
States and Jordan by increasing choices and lowering prices of
goods and services.
To encourage bilateral business ties and thereby
increase employment opportunities in Jordan.
Implement Vietnam Bilateral Trade Agreement
To promote economic stability and openness in Vietnam through
enhanced trade and investment, advancing the bipartisan
To open the Vietnamese market to U.S. goods and services, and
provide strong intellectual property rights protection through
comprehensive trade and investment liberalization by Vietnam.
To provide benefits to consumers in the United States and Vietnam
by increasing choices and lowering prices of goods and services.
To provide authority for the President to apply normal trade
relations duties to Vietnamese goods and to put the agreement
Renew Andean Trade Preference Act
To renew and expand the ATPA program to promote export
diversification and broad-based economic development that
provides sustainable economic alternatives to drug-crop
production in the Andean region.
To bolster democracy and the rule of law in the region.
To complement U.S. aid programs by providing trade opportunities
for private firms in Andean countries.
To support the promotion of core labor standards by making the
program's eligibility criteria conform to those in existing
preferential trade programs.
Enact the Southeast Europe Trade Preference Act
To promote stability and economic development in Southeast Europe
through increased access to the U.S. market and the facilitation
of regional investment and to encourage a broader opening of
markets in Europe and elsewhere to goods from within the region.
To support the promotion of core labor standards by adopting
criteria that conform to those in existing preferential trade
To encourage governments in the region to eliminate trade in persons.
Re-authorize the General System of Preferences Program
To assist developing countries move from dependency on foreign
aid towards opportunity, growth, reform, and openness.
To promote the integration of least developed countries into the
global trading system.
To provide trade incentives that promote economic growth and
alleviate poverty in beneficiary developing countries.
To promote stronger economic and political ties between the
United States and developing countries.
To provide benefits to U.S. consumers by increasing choices and
To encourage the protection of intellectual property rights,
assist in promoting market access for U.S. exports, and promote
observance of core labor standards.
Implement Laos Bilateral Trade Agreement
To promote economic stability and openness in Laos through
enhanced trade and investment, advancing the bipartisan
To open the Lao market to U.S. goods and services, and provide
strong intellectual property rights protection.
To provide benefits to consumers in the United States and Laos by
increasing choices and lowering prices of goods and services.
To provide authority for the President to apply normal trade
relations duties to Lao goods and to put the agreement into effect.
Labor and Environment "Toolbox"
The following illustrative list identifies a "toolbox"
of actions the United States could take in combination with
trade negotiations to promote the protection of children, adherence to
core labor standards, and mutually supportive trade and environmental
Use labor standards in existing and proposed
preferential trade programs -- e.g., the Generalized System of
Preferences program and programs under the African Growth and
Opportunity Act, the Andean Trade Preference Act, the Caribbean Basin
Trade Partnership Act, and the Southeast Europe Trade Preference Act --
to build respect for, adherence to, and enforcement of core labor
Employ U.S. Agency for International
Development (USAID) and other assistance programs to encourage
acceptance of, adherence to, and national enforcement of core labor
Urge the World Bank and the regional
development banks to encourage borrowing countries to guarantee core
labor standards and to collaborate in international efforts to reduce
child labor. The multilateral and regional development banks
also should try to ensure that in consultations on their country
operations with civil society, unions are represented.
Encourage the World Trade Organization (WTO)
to cooperate with international financial institutions to examine the
interrelationships between social issues and global economic
integration, including between labor standards and trade.
Strengthen and raise the profile of the
International Labor Organization (ILO) and provide strong support for
ILO initiatives aimed at fostering member countries? adherence to core
labor standards, such as the ILO Declaration on Fundamental Principles
and Rights at Work and the new Convention on the Worst Forms of Child
Strengthen and raise the profile of the ILO by
improving the ILO's ability to fact-find, spotlight, and hold member
countries accountable for violations of core labor standards by
strengthening the ILO's existing mechanisms for enforcing member
countries' adherence to the conventions they have ratified.
Encourage cooperative arrangements (joint work
programs) between the WTO and the World Health Organization and the
Use the labor standards adopted by the
Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) to build respect for,
and adherence to, core labor standards.
Improve the effectiveness of United Nations
environmental programs, in particular those focused on environmental
Work to increase the extent to which key
environmental concerns are included in multilateral and regional
development bank lending and structural adjustment strategies, e.g., by
bolstering efforts to strengthen environmental and related safeguards
built into lending programs, by supporting initiatives to enhance the
capacity of borrowing governments to protect the environment, or by
giving consideration to augmenting funding for debt-for-nature swaps.
As appropriate, highlight in National Trade
Estimate country reports, and work to address, measures that both
negatively affect the environment and distort trade and investment
Improve the effectiveness of the North
American Development Bank's activity on environmental infrastructure
Propose the inclusion in WTO Trade Policy
Reviews and in APEC Individual Action Plans of discussion of
ways in which a country's or a member economy's trade and environment
policies mutually reinforce each other.
Expand environmental elements in USAID's
Use the environmental policies of the U.S.
Export Import Bank to build respect for, adherence to, and enforcement
of environmental protection laws and regulations.
Promote adherence to environmental guidelines
by foreign export credit agencies.
Use the environment standards adopted by OPIC
to build respect for, and adherence to, environmental protection laws