Statement of USTR Spokesman Richard Mills Regarding 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.”