White House wants trade promotion authority: Kirk

Reuters News
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Posted: Feb 29, 2012 11:24 AM
White House wants trade promotion authority: Kirk

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Barack Obama's administration wants legislation to restore the White House's ability to negotiate trade agreements it can submit to Congress for straight yes or no votes, the top U.S. trade official said on Wednesday.

"We've got to have it," U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk told the House of Representatives Ways and Means Committee, referring to legislation known as trade promotion authority which the White House has not had since 2007.

Kirk said the White House needed the legislation "by the end of the year" because of its goal of concluding a trans-Pacific free trade agreement in 2012.

(Reporting By Doug Palmer; Editing by Jackie Frank)