WASHINGTON - The Bush Administration today submitted to Congress the 2005 Trade Policy Agenda and the 2004 Annual Report of the President on the Trade Agreements Program. The Agenda outlines the Administration’s trade initiatives for the year and reviews its work and accomplishments in 2004. The report also contains the Congressionally mandated 5-year report on the World Trade Organization (WTO).
"In 2004, the Bush Administration concluded and Congress approved free trade agreements (FTAs) with Australia and Morocco. The United States completed negotiations on FTAs with Bahrain and five countries of Central America and the Dominican Republic; the Administration looks forward to Congressional approval of these FTAs so they can be implemented promptly," wrote former U.S. Trade Representative Robert B. Zoellick in the February 18 overview of the Agenda.
"At the beginning of the Bush Administration, the United States had FTAs with three countries, one of which dated back to 1985. Thanks to Congressional approval of Trade Promotion Authority in 2002, the United States now has completed negotiations with 12 countries, and is currently negotiating with 12 more. Taken together, these 24 current and future trading partners constitute America’s third largest export market, with $78 billion in U.S. exports in 2004, and the world’s sixth largest economy," Zoellick wrote. "These FTAs have advanced America’s interests by opening new markets for U.S. products and services, increasing protection of intellectual property, streamlining customs procedures, and strengthening labor and environmental laws and their enforcement. Bilateral negotiations also serve as a vehicle to resolve important disputes that might otherwise never have been resolved without such leverage. All of these achievements translate into free and fair trade, leveling the playing field for American workers and farmers who export their goods abroad, and lowering costs for goods American consumers buy everyday."
"In 2005, the United States is seeking to expand on this record of accomplishment, with an active and comprehensive trade liberalizing agenda. While working to further open markets, the Administration will continue to focus on monitoring and enforcing existing U.S. trade agreements and trade laws, building the capacity of developing countries to participate in the global economy, and making the case for free trade to the American public," wrote Zoellick.
"In his first term, President Bush made multilateral trade negotiations a priority in expanding the global economy, particularly in opening new markets for America’s manufactured goods, farm products, and service providers," wrote Zoellick.
"In the President’s second term, concluding the Doha agenda of multilateral trade negotiations will be a top priority for the Administration. This year’s annual report highlights the results of the Administration’s ongoing efforts to open new overseas markets, level the playing field for American exporters, and vigorously enforce the trade commitments other countries make to the United States. In addition, on the tenth anniversary of the World Trade Organization (WTO), the report takes a special look at the benefits of U.S. membership in the multilateral trading system," wrote Zoellick. "Without the WTO, other countries could impose higher duties on American exports. And without the WTO, the United States would not have the leverage it needs to address trade barriers that disadvantage American farmers, ranchers, workers, and businesses, including discriminatory tax policies and customs procedures, subsidies, unjustified antidumping actions and weak intellectual property protections."
The full overview of the Agenda is contained in the report. The 2005 Trade Policy Agenda and the 2004 Annual Report is prepared according to the guidelines established under the Trade Act of 1974, as amended. For information on bound copies for credentialed media, call 202-395-3230.
Click Here for a copy of the full report.