January 20,1999

Roth Statement on Trade Issues in Clinton State of the Union

WASHINGTON -- Senate Finance Committee Chairman William V. Roth, Jr. (R-DE) today released the following statement regarding some of the trade initiatives mentioned by President Clinton in his State of the Union address Tuesday night:

"I applaud the President's call for a new global round of trade negotiations. Free market and free trade principles have been the reason for the United States economy's incredible resilience in the face of the global financial crisis. To continue that success, however, we must renew our efforts to open foreign markets, particularly in the areas of agriculture and services. A new global round will give us the best opportunity to make that happen.

"To conclude a global round of negotiations successfully we must renew the trade negotiating authority that allows our negotiators to take a seat at the table. While I am pleased with the President's endorsement last night of trade negotiating authority renewal, we need his active involvement and commitment to make that happen.

"Last May, I launched a trade policy review within the Finance Committee that was designed to reinforce that effort. As a continuation of that review, the Finance Committee plans to hold three days of hearings next week on the United States' trade agenda. I look forward to using those hearings to begin work with the Administration on finding the 'new consensus' on trade mentioned by the President and on building support for giving the President trade negotiation authority."