US Trade Chief Urges Senate to Fast Track TPP

U.S. trade chief Michael Froman on Tuesday urged Congress to give President Barack Obama fast-track authority to strike a deal on a contentious Pacific free trade initiative and pave the way for a conclusion to negotiations within months.

“We look to Congress to pass a bipartisan trade promotion authority” so the United States and 11 other countries can conclude the Trans-Pacific Partnership deal within this year, Froman, U.S. trade representative, told a congressional hearing.

Speaking at the Senate’s Finance Committee, Froman said everybody involved in TPP negotiations is focused on trying to reach a conclusion in the next “small number of months.”

Froman hinted the U.S. government has been making progress in talks with Japan over issues such as exceptional tariffs on some agricultural produce, saying, “We hope to close out a very positive package soon.”

Slow progress in bilateral negotiations between the United States and Japan, the largest economies under the envisioned TPP, has been seen as the major obstacle to concluding the multilateral pact.

At the beginning of the session, several protestors in the hearing room interrupted Froman’s testimony with one shouting, “No TPP” and others holding banners including one that reads “No Fast Track.”

via Mainichi

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Alfonso Esparza

Alfonso Esparza

Senior Currency Analyst at Market Pulse
Alfonso Esparza specializes in macro forex strategies for North American and major currency pairs. Upon joining OANDA in 2007, Alfonso Esparza established the MarketPulseFX blog and he has since written extensively about central banks and global economic and political trends. Alfonso has also worked as a professional currency
trader focused on North America and emerging markets. He has been published by The MarketWatch, Reuters, the Wall Street Journal and The Globe and Mail, and he also appears regularly as a guest commentator on networks including Bloomberg and BNN. He holds a finance degree from the Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education (ITESM) and an MBA with a specialization on financial engineering and marketing from the University of Toronto.
Alfonso Esparza