WASHINGTON - "Today's vote in the House of Representatives to renew Trade Promotion Authority is a vote for American leadership, American workers, and American families. It is an important step in the process of helping to stimulate our economic recovery, to regain momentum on trade, and to return the United States to its rightful place as a leader in global trade liberalization.
"The House vote is only the first step, of course. We will now work closely with the Senate Finance Committee to bring Trade Promotion Authority to the Senate floor.
"Today's vote will help increase momentum for our trade agenda. We are moving forward with the global trade negotiations launched in Doha last month, because we believe it is in America's strong interest to seize the opportunity to further open the world's markets for American farm products, goods, and services. We will press ahead on the practical work to achieve our vision for a Free Trade Area of the Americas. We expect to finalize free trade agreements with Chile and Singapore next year. And we will continue to press globally, regionally, and with other nations to open additional markets for America.
"With passage of the Jordan and Vietnam agreements earlier this year, the completion of the accession of China and Taiwan into the WTO, and the recent launch of the global trade negotiations, the Bush Administration has demonstrated a commitment to restoring U.S. leadership in trade liberalization. We will continue to do our best to strike the strongest deal possible for America's workers, families, farmers, and businesses.
"I want to thank Chairman Thomas, in particular, for his tireless efforts. We would not have achieved this victory without him. Chairman Dreier and his trade whip team have also been of great assistance to me and my associates at USTR, and the House Republican leadership went to great lengths to build support for this measure, both inside the House and outside. I also appreciate the efforts of a number of pro-trade Democrats, including John Tanner, William Jefferson, Cal Dooley, and Jim Moran. I appreciate their willingness to stand by the courage of their convictions."