The nation’s top trade official will make the case on Tuesday for why President Obama should have expanded trade powers to negotiate two massive pacts.
U.S. Trade Representative Michael FromanMichael B.G. FromanOn The Money: Sanders unveils plan to wipe .6T in student debt | How Sanders plan plays in rivalry with Warren | Treasury watchdog to probe delay of Harriet Tubman bills | Trump says Fed 'blew it' on rate decision Democrats give Trump trade chief high marks US trade rep spent nearly M to furnish offices: report MORE, who will testify before House and Senate committees on Tuesday, will lay out not only the economic benefits of trade but cast the policy as an avenue for Congress and the White House, as well as Republicans and Democrats to work together.
“To further strengthen that cooperation, as the president made clear last week, we look to Congress to pass a bipartisan trade promotion authority bill,” Froman will say, according to excerpts of his remarks released by his office.
“TPA puts Congress in the driver’s seat to define our negotiating objectives and strengthens congressional oversight by requiring consultations and transparency throughout the negotiating process."
He will say that trade promotion authority, also known as fast-track, is "Congress’s best tool to ensure that there is ample time for public scrutiny and debate on U.S. trade agreements."
Froman also will say that TPA “establishes the timeline and process for the trade agreements that we bring home to be reviewed, not only by Congress but also by the American people.”
House and Senate Republicans have expressed support for trade policy and working with the White House to move forward on the Obama administration's ambitious trade agenda.
Meanwhile, a large group of House Democrats opposed to moving forward have argued that past trade deals have led to the loss of jobs and wages for U.S. workers.
"As a central part of the president’s overall economic strategy, our trade agenda is committed to supporting more good jobs, promoting growth, and strengthening America’s middle class," Froman will say.
Froman, who will testify on Tuesday morning at the Senate Finance Committee before heading over to the House Ways and Means Committee, said trade not only boosts U.S. exports but provides better-paying jobs for workers.
Froman will emphasize the administration-wide effort underway to advocate for TPA, the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP).
As far at the the 12-nation TPP, Froman will say that "the contours of a final agreement are coming into focus, and we have made important progress in the market access negotiations and in addressing a number of 21st century issues such as intellectual property, digital trade, competition with state-owned enterprises and labor and environmental protections."
At the November TPP leaders meeting, all countries "reaffirmed their commitment to concluding a comprehensive, high-standard agreement as soon as possible.”
In addition, USTR said it will unveil a new website Tuesday morning aimed at providing more information about the trade agenda.