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Montevideo, February 1st 2023 - 16:45 UTC



TPA approval encourages free-traders

Friday, December 7th 2001 - 20:00 UTC
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Chilean Foreign Affairs Minister Soledad Alvear praised US House of Representatives approval of the Trade Promotion Authority, TPA, or “fast track”, as it was described during the Clinton administration years

"This comes as an encouraging surprise", said Mrs. Alvear, since there were growing doubts about the issue". Actually the vote was too close, 215 against 214, and anticipates a hard and long struggle in the US Senate. Senate leader Democrat Tom Daschle said the bill will not be considered until next year. Democrats are fiercely against the TPA since it does not force trade agreements to contemplate labour and environmental rights. The Bush administration in a release immediately after the vote thanked Representatives and said the initiative "gives our nation the authority to negotiate trade agreements", and will be interpreted as a victory for world free trade. TPA grants the US Executive the power to negotiate trade agreements that must be accepted, --or rejected--, by Congress with no amendments added. The White House lost that power in 1994 when Republicans and Democrats could not agree on labour rights and environmental issues. President Bush has promoted TPA vigorously since September alleging, trade is an effective weapon to defeat terrorism. Before the final TPA vote in Representatives, the House approved measures to help workers stranded by the September bombings and additional protection to citrus and textiles. Several trade negotiations including the Free Trade Association of the Americas, a Chilean-US agreement, a Mercosur plus One deal, had slowed down believing that a Congressional understanding on the TPA was still far away. All expectations are now focused in the coming Senate battle

Categories: Mercosur.

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