US “working furiously” to finalize Panama FTA
He did not offer a timeline for submitting a completed deal to the U.S. Congress for a vote. Some key Democrats want the concerns about ...
He did not offer a timeline for submitting a completed deal to the U.S. Congress for a vote. Some key Democrats want the concerns about Panama's tax and labor laws completely resolved first. Once a trade pact is formally submitted to Congress, lawmakers have 90 days to approve or reject the agreement without making changes.
As for the stalled Doha round of global trade talks, Kirk said success could help breathe new life into the world's economies. Success meant "a balanced and ambitious agreement with meaningful market access gains for all involved."
"We're asking all 153 WTO (World Trade Organization) members to be willing to consider whatever adjustments are necessary to put us on a straighter path to success," he said. The Doha round was launched in late 2001 with the goal of helping poor countries prosper through trade. Countries came close to a deal last year, but the effort collapsed.
"Concluding the Doha negotiations will allow us to turn our attention to new vistas on the trade agenda," Kirk said.
One of his personal goals is to look at U.S. trade policy toward Asia, working to finish a deal with South Korea and engaging China, he said. He said he had a "productive and friendly" meeting recently with China's Commerce Minister Chen Deming.