U.S. Trade Representative Schwab Applauds Strong Bipartisan House Action on Critical Trade Bill
WASHINGTON – U.S. Trade Representative Susan C. Schwab today applauded the House of Representatives for approving extensions of several trade preference programs and authorizing Permanent Normal Trade Relations (PNTR) with Vietnam.
“I commend the strong bipartisan vote in the House on these important trade initiatives,” said Ambassador Schwab. “I am very pleased the House has passed this critical legislation that will, if approved by the Senate, afford the United States access to Vietnam’s fast growing market and launch a new era in the relationship between our two countries.”
The legislation authorizes the President to terminate application of Jackson-Vanik trade restrictions and provide PNTR to Vietnam to ensure that American companies and consumers are able to secure the benefits of Vietnam’s membership in the WTO.
Also included in the legislation are extensions and amendments to several U.S. trade preference programs.
“Developing countries on every continent have benefited from selling their products in the U.S. market and U.S. consumers have benefited from the variety of their exports,” said Ambassador Schwab. “We will work with these countries to strengthen their economies and increase their participation in global trade.”
Ambassador Schwab said, “I look forward to working with the new Congress on both sides of the aisle to move the U.S. trade agenda forward, including passage of the Peru and Colombia Trade Promotion Agreements, to secure the benefits of free and fair trade for American workers, farmers, ranchers, and service providers.”
The legislation will extend or broaden four trade preference programs that have helped spur economic growth and alleviate poverty in developing countries: the bill extends the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) program, which allows duty-free import of thousands of items from 133 beneficiary developing countries; the bill also continues the Andean Trade Preference Act (ATPA), which is aimed at creating economic incentives to move Andean countries away from the cultivation and production of drugs; the bill amends a provision in the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) related to apparel items made in sub-Saharan African countries; and the bill also adds a new provision to the Caribbean Basin Initiative, entitled the Haitian Hemispheric Opportunity through Partnership Encouragement Act (HOPE), which allows duty-free treatment for certain products from Haiti.