March 06,2008

Baucus To Schwab: Trade Adjustment Assistance Must Top 2008 Trade Agenda

U.S. Trade Ambassador receives clear directive on TAA, Free Trade Agreements from Finance Chairman

Washington, DC – Senator Baucus firmly reiterated to U.S. Trade Representative Susan
Schwab in a hearing today that successful passage of Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA)
legislation will take precedence in the Finance Committee over all pending free trade
agreements. Chairman Baucus believes robust and renewed TAA the first step toward
constructing a trade agenda that is good for our workers and good for our economy.

“I would like to know where TAA fits in your priorities. For me, and for millions of
American workers, including those in my home state of Montana, it’s number one,”

Baucus said. “I will make this clear: get TAA done, and then we’ll talk.”

Ambassador Schwab stated that TAA is “extremely high in our priorities,” and she intends to work with Baucus and the Committee on this issue.

Chairman Baucus also raised concerns about other outstanding trade issues including the
enforcement of the Canadian softwood lumber agreement, and specifically a recent
arbitration decision that failed to hold Canada accountable for exceeding its allowable
exports. Also at issue is Korea’s continued failure to lift its ban on U.S. beef consistent with
World Animal Health Organization (OIE) guidelines. Schwab responded that full
enforcement of the lumber agreement is important for U.S. stability and will consider an
adjustment mechanism on export taxes to address “surges” beyond allowed exports. She also mentioned that new market access for American beef is a priority for the Bush

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