April 04,2002

Statement by Senator Max Baucus Chairman Senate Finance Committee Reaction to President Bush’s Speech on Trade Legislation

I commend President Bush on highlighting the importance of the Senate beginning work on international trade legislation.

I will continue to work with Senator Daschle on scheduling action on an extension of fast track negotiating authority and an expansion of the Andean Trade Preferences Act. I anticipate action before the Memorial Day recess.

I was disappointed, however, that President Bush ignored the topic of expanding Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) for workers that lose their jobs because of imports. The political reality is that other legislation to expand trade simply cannot move until action is taken to expand TAA. In fact, the extension and expansion of TAA is actually more urgent because the program expired late last year putting benefits to TAA recipients at risk. For this reason, we must combine all these bills into a single piece of legislation in order to win passage.