U.S. trade commission reviews free trade pacts


WASHINGTON – The U.S. International Trade Commission launched an investigation April 7 on the impact of three trade agreements signed since 2002 under trade promotion authority (also known as “fast track authority”).
The investigation is required by the Trade Act of 2002.
Economic impact. The commission, an independent, nonpartisan, fact-finding federal agency, will review and analyze the economic impact on the United States of the U.S.-Chile Free Trade Agreement, the U.S.-Singapore Free Trade Agreement, and the U.S.-Australia Free Trade Agreement.
The commission is slated submit the report to Congress by June 1, 2005.
‘Fast track.’ Trade Promotion Authority means international trade agreements are subject to an up-or-down vote, but not amendment in Congress.
It lapsed in 1994, but was re-enacted in August 2002. It currently applies to trade agreements signed before July 1, 2005.
In March, the Bush administration requested extension of that deadline to July 1, 2007.
Comments. The commission is seeking input for the investigation from all interested parties. Comments can be sent to the U.S. International Trade Commission, 500 E. Street S.W., Washington, DC 20436.
For information, call 202-205-1816.


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