U.S. Trade Rep Sees Progress on Pacific Trade Pact

January 27, 2015

The final form of an ambitious Pacific trade pact is coming into focus, U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman said on Tuesday as he urged Congress get behind the U.S. trade agenda.

In remarks prepared for delivery to key congressional committees, Froman said the administration was looking to lawmakers to pass bipartisan legislation allowing a streamlined approval process for trade deals, such as the 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership.

TPP chief negotiators are gathered in New York this week for talks on the pact, which some hope can be wrapped up by mid-March, and Froman said elements of a deal were falling into place.

“We have made important progress in the market access negotiations and in addressing a number of twenty-first century issues such as intellectual property, digital trade, competition with state-owned enterprises, and labor and environmental protections,” Froman said in his testimony, according to excerpts released by his office in advance.

The USTR was to also unveil a new website with information on how the TPP will benefit Americans at 9 a.m. EST (1400 GMT), before the hearing started at 10 a.m. EST.

(Reporting by Krista Hughes)

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