U.S. Senator Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), Ranking Member of the Senate Finance Committee that oversees international trade policy, issued the following statement after President Obama nominated Michael Froman to serve as U.S. Trade Representative:
"I am pleased that President Obama finally announced his nominee to head the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative. In an era of when international customers outside the United States account for 95 percent of the world population, 92 percent of global economic growth, and 80 percent of global purchasing power, international trade is key to our continued economic growth.
"By negotiating and enforcing strong trade agreements that open up these markets to U.S. exports, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative plays a critical role in keeping our economy competitive and our standard of living high. With ongoing negotiations to conclude a Trans-Pacific Partnership, which will cover over one-third of all world trade, and negotiations for an agreement with the European Union on the horizon, the President's nominee must have the trade expertise, political will and leadership skills necessary to effectively lead this small but important agency.
"I look forward to fully examining Mr. Froman's background and qualifications as the nomination moves forward. I want to know whether this nominee shares my commitment to innovation and strong intellectual property rights. Intellectual property intensive industries support at least 40 million jobs in the United States and contribute more than $5 trillion to the American economy. Innovation is our future, and it is vital that intellectual property protection play a leading role in our trade policy.
"Now that Mr. Froman has been nominated to lead the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, I hope the President will begin to work with Congress in earnest to renew Trade Promotion Authority (TPA). If the next U.S. Trade Representative is going to effectively lead these negotiations and deliver real market access opportunities for our workers, farmers, ranchers, and job creators, he is going to need the tools to get the job done, and one of the most important tools in our trade arsenal is TPA."