Today, Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp (R-MI) and Trade Subcommittee Chairman Devin Nunes (R-CA) made the following comments in response to the release of the President's 2013 Trade Policy Agenda.
Chairman Camp: "I welcome the Administration's focus on ensuring that our trading partners play by the rules and that we use ongoing and new negotiations to increase exports of American-made goods and services. In particular, we've made significant progress in the Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations, and I hope that the Administration will conclude a high-level, comprehensive agreement by October. In addition, the International Services Agreement, a U.S.-EU trade agreement, a WTO agreement on trade facilitation, and an expansion of the Information Technology Agreement would bring significant gains to our sluggish economy. However, I am disappointed that the Administration has not engaged with Congress concerning Trade Promotion Authority. This authority is necessary both to set out the negotiating objectives that Congress sees as vital at the outset of negotiations, to define the terms for Congressional consultations during the negotiations, and to establish the rules for consideration of implementing bills after the negotiations. I urge the President to demonstrate his commitment to a vigorous and productive trade policy by nominating a qualified and committed U.S. Trade Representative and by immediately beginning discussions with Congress on renewing Trade Promotion Authority."
Chairman Nunes: "The Administration is behind in its goal of doubling exports in five years, and we must remedy this shortcoming through a concentrated and sustained trade agenda that opens new markets and enforces our rights. While the President's Trade Policy Agenda appropriately acknowledges and advances economic freedom as an agenda for job creation in the United States and development abroad, it does so without meaningful discussion of Trade Promotion Authority, which is critical to moving a robust and ambitious trade policy agenda forward. In the House, we will continue to provide leadership to advance an ambitious and harmonized trade agenda with Latin America, where the President's agenda falls short. Our bilateral relationships with Brazil and India also deserve higher-level engagement, rather than the fractured approach the Administration has used to date. I look forward to working with the Administration to further these goals."