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USTR Statement on Senate Action on Australia FTA

Statement of Richard MillsUSTR Spokesman

Regarding the Senate Finance Committee action on the U.S. – Australia Free Trade Agreement:

“We are pleased that the Senate Finance Committee acted today to keep the Australia Free Trade Agreement on schedule. With yesterday’s favorable voice vote in the House Ways and Means Committee to approve the legislation without amendment, we are on track to submit the FTA package to the Congress after it returns from recess.

As Chairman Grassley has explained, the committee’s unfavorable recommendation was based solely on a proposal in the informal process for an amendment that is unconstitutional. The Committee chose to move the FTA forward with this recommendation rather than delay the process.

This step clears the way for the Administration to submit the Australia FTA and the implementing legislation, without amendment, to the Congress early in July.

We are optimistic that the Australia FTA will pass both houses of Congress this summer with broad bipartisan support.”