Trade leaders demand White House ramp up talks on TPP

Congressional trade leaders are demanding that the Obama administration immediately ramp up talks with lawmakers as negotiations on a massive Asia-Pacific agreement reach a critical stage.

House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), panel ranking member Sandy Levin (D-Mich.), Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) and the panel’s top Democrat, Ron Wyden (Ore.), said “we expect you to intensify these consultations and coordination immediately” on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).

{mosads}In a letter to U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman and Treasury Secretary Jack Lew, they said that any agreement reached on the TPP must meet the priorities set out by Congress as part of the fast-track authority law signed by President Obama in June. 

If officials aren’t ready to wrap up work on the TPP this week in Atlanta, the lawmakers suggested top trade officials take a step back before proceeding. 

“We urge you to take the time necessary to get the best possible deal for the United States working closely with us and with stakeholders to resolve the many outstanding issues in these critically important negotiations,” they wrote in the letter. 

“If you are unable to obtain an agreement that is consistent with the standards we have set out, we would support continuing negotiations so that TPP meets the benchmark that Congress can support.”

Negotiations on the TPP slipped into Friday as the United States and 11 other nations try to complete work on the sweeping pact that covers 40 percent of global growth. 

Tags Jack Lew Jack Lew Michael Froman Michael Froman Orrin Hatch Orrin Hatch Paul Ryan Paul Ryan Ron Wyden Ron Wyden Sander Levin Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP)
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