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AMI, Industry Groups Gather at White House to Help Launch Push for Trade Promotion Authority

Monday, June 18, 2001

Washington, DC - AMI and other members of the U.S. agricultural community gathered today at the White House to support President Bush’s drive for renewal of Presidential trade promotion authority (TPA). The initiative is aimed at convincing Congress to delegate, under tight conditions, its trade negotiating authority to the Administration.

This would allow the U.S. to resume a leadership role in opening world markets and creating additional export opportunities for U.S. agricultural products and other goods and services.

In a letter to President Bush, AMI joined nearly 80 trade associations and corporations in commending the release of his 2001 International Trade Legislative Agenda.

“We commend [the President’s] agenda that leads to the initiative to rebuild the bipartisan consensus that has historically existed for international trade,” the letter said. “In the absence of Trade Promotion Authority, the U.S. has lost a great deal of ground in the international trade arena. It is time to reclaim that ground and restore America’s position as the leader in trade liberalization.”

TPA, formerly known as “fast track” authority, is a partnership between the Congress and the President forged to achieve the best possible result for U.S. interests in international trade negotiations. Through TPA, the Congress and the Administration agree on the basic parameters of the trade negotiating agenda and on the legislative process for implementing the results of successful trade negotiations into law. The Administration agrees to keep the Congress abreast of developments in the negotiations. In return, the Congress commits to vote “up or down” without amendment to the final trade deal.

“This bill is a positive step toward opening new markets for American products, including meats and poultry,” AMI President J. Patrick Boyle said. “Trade promotion authority will allow the U.S. to regain important ground and lead once again in shaping the international trade agenda.”

The group also urged Sen. Tom Daschle (D-SD) to support TPA during this legislative session, saying the U.S. will not be able to assert effective leadership on international trade without it.

“Improved and liberalized international trade has always been in the best interests of the United States,” the letter to Daschle said.

AMI represents the interests of packers and processors of beef, pork, lamb, veal and turkey products and their suppliers throughout North America. Headquartered in Washington, DC, the Institute provides legislative, regulatory and public relations services, conducts scientific and economic research, offers marketing and technical assistance and sponsors education programs.

For more information contact:
Janet Riley
Vice President, Public Affairs
Josee Daoust
Manager, Public Affairs

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