November 13,2009

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Dan Virkstis (202) 224-4515

Baucus Applauds U.S. Decision to Participate in Trans-Pacific Trade Negotiations

Finance Chair Cites Region’s Commercial, Strategic Significance for United States

Washington, DC – Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) applauded President Obama’s announcement late this evening that the United States will participate actively in the Trans- Pacific Strategic Economic Partnership (TPP) negotiations. On October 22, 2009, Senators Baucus and Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) sent President Obama a letter urging U.S. participation in the TPP negotiations, noting the TPP will deepen America's economic and strategic relationship with the vital Asia-Pacific region.

“President Obama’s decision to participate in the TPP negotiations is right for American jobs, right for American exporters and right for the American economy,” Baucus said. “The Asia-Pacific region will continue to grow and economically integrate in the coming years. By opening these key markets for American exporters, the United States shows it has a new blueprint on trade focusing first and foremost on the needs of America’s businesses and America’s workers.”

The TPP negotiations, which the United States initially joined in 2008, include Vietnam, Singapore, Australia, Peru, Chile, New Zealand and Brunei. The Senate Finance Committee has sole jurisdiction over international trade.