You Are Invited: Congress and the Politics of Trade

The Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars and The National Capital Area Political Science Association cordially invite you to “Congress and Global Challenges” series:

 Congress & the Politics of Trade

Monday, March 19, 2012

4:00-6:00 p.m., Fifth Floor Conference Room, Woodrow Wilson Center

 Panel:

Former Congressman Bill Thomas (R-Calif.)

Congressman Mike Michaud (D-Maine) [invited]

David Karol, Associate Professor of Government, University of Maryland

Annie Lowrey, Washington Correspondent, The New York Times

Moderator: Don Wolfensberger, Director, Congress Seminar Series

RSVP, acceptances only to: Congress@wilsoncenter.org

President Barack Obama indicated in his State of the Union address Jan. 24 that trade will be an important item on his policy agenda this year, with export promotion at the top of his list.   The President indicates his National Export Initiative to double U.S. exports by the end of 2013 is on track, though much remains to be done to expand American manufacturing capacity and competitiveness.  The other priority items mentioned in his speech are implementing the Free Trade Agreements with Columbia, South Korea and Panama approved by Congress last year, enacting Permanent Normal Trade Relations (PNTR) for Russia, and enacting authority for fast-track consideration of presidential government reorganization plans—the first of which would consolidate various trade functions and agencies in a reconfigured (and presumably renamed) Department of Commerce.  Not mentioned in the speech were the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement which is also a top administration trade priority, and the WTO Doha Round of talks which appear to be moribund.  Given the shortened election-year session of Congress, it is questionable just how much of the President’s trade agenda Congress will be willing or able to swallow.  Further complicating the picture will be the presidential election campaign and what role trade issues may play in the national debate.  This panel will explore the intersection presidential and congressional politics as they play-out against the President’s trade agenda.

For directions and a map to the Wilson Center go to:  www.wilsoncenter.org/directions.

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