National Retail Federation supports “fast-track” trade pact authority

by The City Wire staff ( 3 views 

The National Retail Federation said it has called on the U.S. Congress to quickly approve a “trade promotion authority” bill that would speed consideration of trade agreements brought to them by the president.

“Passage of this measure will commit the country and our policymakers to a 21st century trade agenda that reflects and is responsive to the global supply chain,” said NRF CEO Matthew Shay. “Opening up new markets for imports and exports benefits the nation’s manufacturers, retailers and consumers alike.”

Lawmakers unveiled the legislation today (Jan. 9) which would mean Congress approves trade pacts with an up-or-down vote without amending them. If passed this would apply to trade agreements for the next four years.

Shay said the legislation is seen as critically important in order for the United States to conclude ongoing trade negotiations with Asia and Europe, including the Trans-Pacific Partnership and Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership.

The bill was introduced by ranking legislators – Max Baucus, D-Mont., and Orrin Hatch, R-Utah in the Senate and Dave Camp, R-Mich., in the House – despite concern voiced from both parties that Congress could be cut out of the negotiations if they agree to rushing through trade pacts.

Shay argued that the trade agreements that could will follow this approved legislation will likely strengthen the nation’s recovery and provide the framework for future economic and employment growth.

“New trade promotion authority provides our nation’s trade negotiators with the clarity and flexibility they need to deal with our current and future trading partners,” Shay said.