Today President Bush in New York City delivered his second speech on the economy. As expected, in the speech he called for a renewal of Trade Promotion Authority or “fast-track,” which gives the President the ability to negotiate trade agreements and have the Congress vote on them without amendments. Here's what the President said in a strong statement supporting open trade:
The only way America can complete Doha and make headway on other trade agreements is to extend Trade Promotion Authority. This authority allows the President to negotiate complicated trade deals for our country, and then send them to Congress for an up or down vote on the whole agreement. Presidents of both parties have considered this authority essential to completing good trade agreements. Our trading partners consider it essential for our success at the negotiating table. The authority is set to expire on July 1st -- and I ask Congress to renew it. I know there's going to be a vigorous debate on trade, and bashing trade can make for good sound bites on the evening news. But walling off America from world trade would be a disaster for our economy. Congress needs to reject protectionism, and to keep this economy open to the tremendous opportunities that the world has to offer.