USTR - Statement from Ambassador Susan C. Schwab, Nominee for United States Trade Representative
Office of the United States Trade Representative

 

Statement from Ambassador Susan C. Schwab, Nominee for United States Trade Representative
04/18/2006
From the White House Rose Garden
As Prepared for Delivery

Thank you Mr. President. I am both humbled and honored to be here today. You have set a high bar for your Trade Representative. And you have my commitment to meet and desire to exceed those expectations on behalf of American workers, farmers, manufacturers and service providers.

I also want to thank Ambassador Portman for his confidence and support. I value his friendship and congratulate him on his new role as Director of the Office of Management and Budget. I am certain he will bring the same energy and determination to OMB as he brought to USTR.

Nearly 29 years ago, I walked into the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative looking for my first job. I joined the USTR team as an agricultural trade negotiator, seeking to build market access for American farmers and ranchers in the Tokyo Round multilateral trade negotiation. Today I’ve come full circle.

Happily, USTR continues to be staffed by the most remarkable and hardworking team of career professionals and political appointees to be found anywhere in the public, private or nonprofit sectors. And I look forward to continuing my association with them.

Since that first job at USTR, international economic policy has remained front and center in my career, whether I was working for Senator Danforth and the Senate Finance Committee, representing Motorola in Asia, or serving as Dean of the University of Maryland’s School of Public Policy.

In his State of the Union address, President Bush spoke of the risks of economic isolation and the critical importance of American competitiveness. I am utterly convinced that to maintain American global prosperity, we must pursue a sensible, market-oriented trade policy that provides greater market access and enforces our laws and agreements.

And for these policies to be credible and sustainable we must actively work to generate bipartisan support in Congress. This has been a priority for President Bush, for Ambassador Portman, and it is a priority for me. If confirmed, will continue our aggressive congressional outreach to help restore the bipartisan consensus for trade.

Last September, the President set clear trade priorities for the United States in a speech to the UN General Assembly. His vision guides USTR’s ongoing efforts to secure an ambitious outcome to the Doha Development Round negotiations in the WTO. It is a once in a generation opportunity to generate global economic growth and to lift millions out of poverty. And it will continue to be a top priority for this Administration.

USTR has an equally ambitious bilateral and regional agenda – including ongoing negotiations with 14 countries to dramatically reduce trade barriers, to set important precedents for future trade negotiations, and to grow a critical mass of countries that recognize the immense benefits that come with more open international commerce. Here, again, holding our trading partners accountable through enforcement of existing trade laws and agreements will continue to be a critical component of our trade agenda.

Again, Mr. President, I thank you - for providing this fantastic opportunity for me to serve you and our nation in advancing U.S. interests through a sensible and energetic trade agenda.

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