Obama to unveil new trade framework soon: official+

Discussion in 'Political Zone' started by JBond, May 21, 2009.

  1. JBond

    JBond Well-Known Member

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    Obama to unveil new trade framework soon: official+


    WASHINGTON, May 21 (AP) - (Kyodo)—President Barack Obama will release a new trade framework in the near future, a senior U.S. trade official said Thursday.

    "The president believes that the United States needs a new framework for trade," said Everett Eissenstat, assistant U.S. trade representatives for western hemisphere affairs. "The president looks forward to outlining this framework in the near future."

    He told the Senate Finance Committee that Obama recognizes trade is essential to the U.S. prosperity and has the potential to lift up workers around the world.

    "But for trade to accomplish this, trade agreements need to include strong labor and environmental standards, we need to do a better job enforcing our trade agreements, and we need domestic policies to help Americans succeed in an increasingly dynamic economy," Eissenstat said.

    Obama's new framework is expected to strike a delicate balance between those who push for free trade without regard for the detrimental effects on industry or labor and those who turn blind eyes on the benefits to the economy that are brought by trade.

    Earlier this week, U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk pointed to the need to ratify three free trade agreements with South Korea, Panama and Colombia, which were concluded by the administration of former President George W. Bush.

    The top U.S. trade diplomat also said at the time that it is also vital to bring the stalled Doha Round of global market-opening negotiations to a successful conclusion.

    While not mentioning a new trade framework, Kirk attached importance to building closer trade ties with Asian states other than South Korea.

    "Needless to say, the Asia-Pacific is a worldwide center of economic activity -- and a key driver of economic growth," he said.

    "Even more effective engagement with Asia will be a key component of the Obama administration's outlook on trade," Kirk said.

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