Finance Chair Says TPP Can Spark U.S. Economy

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus says Congress must capitalize on the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement to benefit from the past pace of economic growth in many Asian economies, boost U.S. exports and create jobs. The GDP of nearly all of the Asia-Pacific economies grew faster than the U.S. growth rate of 1.8-percent in 2011. More than half of them actually enjoyed growth above the world average of 3.8-percent. Asia's share of world imports grew from 18.5-percent in 1983 to 30.9-percent in 2011. According to Baucus - the TPP is the best way for the U.S. to share in that growth. The Montana Senator says Japan's inclusion in the talks represents a significant step towards a more unified Pacific region and an opportunity to build on recent progress breaking down that country's barriers to trade. Among other things - Baucus says the TPP agreement must address unscientific barriers to U.S. agriculture products.

During a Finance Committee hearing on the TPP - Baucus also said he is working to renew Trade Promotion Authority and Trade Adjustment Assistance. Baucus hopes to introduce a bipartisan bill by June.

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