WASHINGTON D.C. – The Bush Administration today delivered to Congress the 2007 Trade Policy Agenda and the 2006 Annual Report of the President of the United States on the Trade Agreements Program.
The report details the many benefits of trade for U.S. manufacturers, farmers, ranchers, service providers, workers, and consumers; reviews the Administration’s accomplishments of 2006; and lays out its ambitious, growth-oriented trade agenda for 2007.
“The Administration is committed to sustaining momentum for trade liberalization both domestically and abroad,” said U.S. Trade Representative Susan C. Schwab today. “The United States’ vigorous leadership is vital to its own prosperity and the economic health of the world.”
Among the highlights of 2006 on the multilateral front was U.S. leadership in the ongoing effort by World Trade Organization Members to conclude a comprehensive, ambitious and balanced Doha Development Agreement. The United States also completed bilateral WTO accession agreements with Vietnam, Russia and Ukraine.
In the bilateral and regional arenas, the United States launched negotiations on Free Trade Agreements (FTA) with Korea and Malaysia and signed agreements with Peru and Colombia. In addition, the United States and its trading partners nearly completed the implementation process for the Dominican Republic-Central America Free Trade Agreement, an FTA with Bahrain went into force, and Congress approved an FTA with Oman. Congress also extended several trade preference programs that benefit developing countries.
With regard to monitoring and enforcement, in 2006, the United States continued to insist that its trading partners honor their WTO and bilateral commitments, using a range of formal and informal options to monitor and enforce compliance with trade agreements. The United States sought further consultations at the WTO with the European Union over subsidies to aerospace giant Airbus in January, and with Canada over its countervailing duty proceedings on U.S. corn exports in March.
The United States settled a long-running dispute with Canada about trade in softwood lumber and successfully concluded a dispute with Mexico over that country’s tax treatment of beverages sweetened with high fructose corn syrup. The United States also sought WTO dispute resolution consultations with China in cases involving China’s treatment of imported auto parts and its apparent continued use of subsidies prohibited under WTO rules.
In 2006, the Office of the United States Trade Representative also completed a Top-to-Bottom Review of U.S. trade ties with China and initiated steps to create and sustain a stronger and more balanced bilateral relationship now that China has completed its five-year transition to WTO membership.
In 2007, the Administration will continue these multilateral, bilateral and regional activities to deepen and strengthen trade ties around the world and to ensure the rules of trade are fair and evenly applied. The Administration will also work with Congress on a bipartisan basis to secure an extension of Trade Promotion Authority.
“The Bush Administration will continue to listen and consult with Members of Congress on a market-opening and enforcement agenda that benefits all Americans, helps people in developing countries, and projects the unity and leadership of the United States in the global marketplace,” Ambassador Schwab wrote in the report’s introduction.
The 2007 Trade Policy Agenda and the 2006 Annual Report is prepared according to the guidelines established under the Trade Act of 1974, as amended. Click here for the full report.