At a Senate Finance Committee hearing today on Mike Froman's nomination to be U.S. trade representative (USTR), Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) urged him to aggressively pursue an ambitious trade agenda that will boost U.S. exports and create U.S. jobs. Senator Baucus noted that Froman has key experience in recent negotiations and at forums of G8 and G20 members that make him the right choice for USTR. Froman also said the President is formally requesting trade promotion authority and pledged to Senator Baucus to work with him and the committee on the legislation.
"With Trans-Pacific Partnership talks nearing completion and trade negotiations with the EU getting off the ground, USTR must have nimble, effective leadership. These trade deals will make a real difference here at home, boosting our exports and creating jobs. And we need to renew trade promotion authority and critical worker training and assistance to help move the ball forward on these trade agreements. I've been working to renew fast-track authority for a long time, and I'm pleased that the President is putting the rubber to the road and formally requesting TPA," Senator Baucus said. "Mike Froman is the right person for this job. I am confident that with him at the helm, USTR will meet the ambitious trade goals the President has set."
Senator Baucus said the U.S. needs a strong trade representative as Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations continue and free trade agreement talks with the E.U. ramp up. The two trade deals offer the U.S. landmark opportunities to boost exports.
The TPP countries -- which represent many of the fastest-growing economies in the world -- accounted for 40 percent of total U.S. goods exports last year. And the EU purchased close to $460 billion in U.S. goods and services last year, supporting 2.4 million American jobs.
Senator Baucus also reiterated his commitment to passing Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) to support his trade agenda, along with Trade Adjustment Assistance, the critical job-training program, to ensure the U.S. workforce remains competitive. He said he will continue working to introduce a bill in June, and Froman pledged to work with the committee on TPA legislation.
"Trade policy only fulfills its full potential when it reflects close consultations between the Administration, Congress and a wide range of stakeholders," Froman said. "In that regard, if confirmed, I will engage with you to renew Trade Promotion Authority. TPA is a critical tool. I look forward to working with you to craft a bill that achieves our shared goals."
Froman is currently the assistant to the president and deputy national security advisor for international economics. He also chairs the Major Economics Forum on Energy and Climate, co-chairs the Transatlantic Economic Council and plays an active role in the G20 and G8 summits. Froman also served during the Clinton administration as deputy assistant secretary of state for Eurasia and the Middle East and as the director for international economic affairs at the National Security Council and National Economic Council. In addition to his government service, Froman was a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, a resident fellow at the German Marshall Fund and worked in the private sector. He received his A.B. from Princeton University, Ph.D. in international relations from Oxford University and a J.D. from Harvard Law School.