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Baucus pleased Obama administration will pursue TPA

Michael Froman

Michael Froman

At his Senate Finance Committee hearing Thursday, Michael Froman, President Barack Obama’s nominee to become the U.S. trade representative, pledged to ask Congress to renew trade promotion authority under which the executive branch can negotiate trade agreements with the knowledge that Congress will hold only an up or down vote on the measure, rather than try to amend it.

“Trade policy only fulfills its full potential when it reflects close consultations between the administration, Congress and a wide range of stakeholders,” Froman said. “In that regard, if confirmed, I will engage with you to renew trade promotion authority. TPA is a critical tool. I look forward to working with you to craft a bill that achieves our shared goals.”

Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont.

Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont.

Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus, D-Mont., supported the renewal of TPA.

“With Trans-Pacific Partnership talks nearing completion and trade negotiations with the EU getting off the ground, USTR must have nimble, effective leadership,” Baucus said in a news release.

“These trade deals will make a real difference here at home, boosting our exports and creating jobs,” Baucus said. “And we need to renew trade promotion authority and critical worker training and assistance to help move the ball forward on these trade agreements. I’ve been working to renew fast-track authority for a long time, and I’m pleased that the President is putting the rubber to the road and formally requesting TPA.”

Baucus also said “Mike Froman is the right person for this job. I am confident that with him at the helm, USTR will meet the ambitious trade goals the president has set.”

Froman's current job is the assistant to the president and deputy national security adviser for international economics.