Today, U.S. Senator Rob Portman (R-Ohio), former U.S. Trade Representative and member of the Senate Finance Committee, released the following statement on the Obama Administration's 2013 trade agenda report:
"I am pleased that the Administration has finally pledged to work with Congress to pass Trade Promotion Authority (TPA). This was the first Administration since FDR's to not request crucial negotiating authority. Our competitors have proactively moved to access valuable new markets, putting American workers at a competitive disadvantage in the global marketplace. I hope the Obama Administration will focus needed resources to developing and passing TPA. I look forward to working with the Administration and my colleagues on the Finance Committee to push a proactive 21st-century trade policy that accesses markets abroad, creates jobs at home, and enforces the trade laws on the books.
"I also welcome the Administration's plan to bring the negotiations on the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement to an ambitious conclusion in 2013. In addition, I am pleased that the Administration will launch trade negotiations with the European Union on a Transatlantic agreement along with negotiations with like-minded countries on an International Services Agreement. All of these agreements require tough decisions to be made without delay."
Note: Portman led a bipartisan Senate letter to the President last week calling on the Administration to move forward with the US-EU negotiations with the most comprehensive approach that tackles tough issues. Portman's letter was signed by 16 Senate colleagues and can be read here.