With an overwhelmingly bipartisan 93-4 vote tonight, the Senate confirmed Mike Froman to be the next U.S. Trade Representative (USTR). This step comes as we seek to advance several critical global trade issues that are certain to help define the strength of the U.S. economy for many years to come.
Next month, we hope the U.S. and other global governments will reach agreement on the expansion of the 16-year-old Information Technology Agreement, which has proved to be one of the most economically successful WTO agreements ever. Similarly, the ten-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations are pressing ahead, with the goal of reaching conclusion to the talks later this year. If successful, it would create a trade partnership that covers approximately 38 percent of the world’s economy. Finally, the U.S. and European Union are in the midst of launching the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership talks – another major trade initiative that promises expanded economic opportunity for the U.S.
Combined, these agreements underscore the enormous responsibility that Ambassador Froman is taking on, and the even greater opportunity he has to bolster the long-term strength of the U.S. economy. These trade agreements would mean major infusions of jobs and investments across the country. They would lead to increased exports and advanced innovation. Strong leadership from the USTR is essential to their successful negotiation and implementation.
We congratulate Ambassador Froman on his confirmation, and look forward to working in partnership with him and his team at USTR to address the 21st-century complexities of the global marketplace and the opportunities that forward-looking trade pacts can present.