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President's trade agenda to restore economic growth
12
Mar '09
President Barack Obama
President Barack Obama
President Obama has charted a course for economic recovery that will restore growth and promote broad-based Prosperity. It will emphasize improvements in the living standards of American families while reorienting our economy to meet today's challenges – energy, the environment and global Competitiveness.

The President's trade agenda will contribute to achieving these objectives. It will reflect our respect for Entrepreneurship and market competition, our environment, opportunity for all and the rights of workers.

We seek to benefit Americans and the world by pursuing trade policies that embody these values. We particularly recognize the need to pay special attention to how our policies influence the well being of People struggling both at home and in the poorest regions of the world. Fundamentally, our trade policy needs a keen appreciation of its economic consequences for our workers, their families, and their Communities, a fact recognized in the progress our Congress is making to upgrade our existing adjustment Assistance programs for workers.

Eliminating barriers to trade in the face of serious turmoil in our economy and financial markets will be a Challenge. In enacting the Economic Recovery Act, the Congress affirmed our commitment to comply with the rules that govern international commerce and reached agreement to improve our trade adjustment Assistance programs. These acts recognize the importance of trade to our economy and our Responsibilities to those who face the highest hurdles in adjusting to changing trade patterns.

The President will use all available tools to address this economic crisis including achieving access to new markets for American businesses large and small. One of these tools is the authority Congress can Grant the Executive to negotiate trade agreements and bring them to the legislature for an up or down Vote. We will only ask for renewed trade negotiating authority after engaging in extensive consultation With Congress to establish the proper constraints on that authority and after we have assessed our Priorities and made clear to this body and the American people what we intend to do with it.

Trade is a significant and increasingly important factor in contributing to the U.S. and global economies. In 2008, U.S. goods and services trade (exports plus imports) were equal to 30.8 percent of U.S. Gross Domestic Product (GDP), and exports alone accounted for 13.1 percent of the U.S. economy. World Goods and services trade accounted for an estimated 33.5 percent of global GDP in 2008 (about $20.8 Trillion dollars). In other words, trade is a large and growing part of our everyday commerce, and the jobs produced by these transactions are significant and well-paying. Yet, there are signs that trade, which has grown consistently in recent years, is slowing markedly.

For the first time since 1982, global trade flows are projected to decline in 2009 by 2.1percent to 2.8 percent. U.S. trade in goods and services already dropped by 14 percent between the 3rd and 4th quarters of 2008. Pressing economic conditions require the discipline to respond to immediate problems while staying true To our long-term goals. The President's approach will be to promote adherence to the rules-based International trading system in order to promote economic stability, while introducing new concepts – Including increasing transparency and promoting broader participation in the debate – to help revitalize Economic growth and promote higher living standards at home and abroad.

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