2 August 2002 www.tln.org.nz
Congress Gives Bush Authority For Free Trade Deals
With the passage of Trade Promotion Authority through the US Senate, President Bush has an unprecedented opportunity to
demonstrate his commitment to freer trade internationally.
Trade Liberalisation Network Chairman Brian Lynch said the Senate vote was “excellent news”. “The US is the
indispensable nation when it comes to trade. After disappointments with steel tariffs and the Farm Bill, the President
now has a much freer hand to negotiate in the World Trade Organisation and with individual trading partners”.
It is the first time since 1994 that the President has had such authority. “This means the US can get back into the
business of trade liberalisation. The Congressional action will send a powerful signal to US trading partners, including
the EU and Japan, that there is a new willingness to contemplate reducing trade barriers and creating more effective
Mr Lynch said the development was also of direct interest to New Zealand which is keen to negotiate a free trade
agreement with the US. “The President now has the power to negotiate he lacked previously. We hope the Administration
will now move quickly to initiate a negotiation with Australia and New Zealand”.
Mr Lynch said that the Trade Liberalisation Network was working closely with the New Zealand/US Council and the
Government to make the case for a New Zealand/US Closer Economic Partnership in Washington.