Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (Mont.) and Ranking Member Orrin Hatch (Utah) this week laid out their priorities to U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk for a potential free trade agreement (FTA) between the United States and the European Union (EU). In their letter to Ambassador Kirk, the senators set high-standard expectations for any FTA.
"A comprehensive US-EU FTA, negotiated and implemented with the highest standards, would have a multiplier effect and would be certain to generate much needed economic growth on both sides of the Atlantic," the finance leaders wrote. "There is no doubt that a US-EU FTA is an enticing opportunity. While there is much promise in the country's relationship, there are remaining barriers to free and fair trade that are long-standing and difficult to overcome."
The senators identified several priorities ahead of any negotiation process, including:
They also wrote that they intend to push for renewal of Trade Promotion Authority (TPA), saying it will enable the consideration and completion of a successful US-EU FTA. TPA expired in 2007.
The finance committee has jurisdiction over international trade.
The full text of the letter is available at www.sheepusa.org/user_files/file_1194.pdf.