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Capital Hill Watch Alert

Bipartisan Trade Promotion Authority Act of 2001 (H.R. 3005)

On December 6, 2001, the House of Representatives is expected to consider the Bipartisan Trade Promotion Authority Act of 2001 (H.R. 3005) (To view this bill, visit http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/z?d107:h.r.03005:). The measure would give fast-track negotiating authority to the President that would allow him to conclude trade agreements with other nations and submit them to Congress for a quick up or down vote without amendment.

In the fast-paced world of global trade and investment expansion, the United States (U.S.) cannot be a major participant without fast-track authority to launch new trade negotiations bilaterally, regionally, and multilaterally.

Between 1974 and 1993, Congress approved fast-track authority for the President repeatedly. This quick form of approval proved successful for facilitating trade negotiations while keeping Congress involved in the process and preserving their ultimate authority to regulate trade. If the President does not have fast-track authority to reach binding agreements to liberalize trade in both directions (North and South), countries will not negotiate seriously with the U.S. Free trade and American businesses have both been hurt by the lack of fast-track authority.

For example, Chile concluded separate bilateral free trade agreements with Mexico and Canada, two members of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) apart from the United States. These agreements were made only after Chile grew tired of waiting for fast track to allow it to pursue accession to NAFTA. To date, Chile has still not concluded a similar trade agreement with the U.S.

What Can You Do?

Urge your representative to SUPPORT the Bipartisan Trade Promotion Authority Act of 2001 (H.R. 3005).

Contact Information:

Capitol Hill Switchboard Numbers: 202-225-3121 or 202-224-3121 (Those numbers will direct you to the Capitol Hill operator. Ask for your representative's office.)

To go to your representative's website, find his E-mail or to find out who your representatives are... http://www.house.gov/house/MemberWWW.html

To electronically mail your U.S. House of Representative, go to http://www.house.gov/htbin/wrep_findrep.

Addressing Correspondence:

The Honorable (full name)
United States House of Representatives
Washington, DC 20515

Dear Representative (last name):

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