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Washington Outlook Archive

Congress Approves Free Trade Agreements

James A. Morrissey, Washington Correspondent

Before taking is summer recess, Congress approved free trade agreements with Australia and Morocco. The Australian pact had the strong endorsement of the US textile industry, but it was opposed to the Morocco agreement because it permits specified amounts of yarn and fabric from non-participating countries to enjoy the same quota and tariff preferences as products from Morocco. The United States now has free trade agreements with Canada, Mexico, Israel, Jordan, Australia , Morocco and Singapore, as well as regional pacts with the Caribbean and Sub-Saharan African nations. This action pretty well wraps up the Bush administrations ambitious free trade initiatives for this year, as a major agreement with the Central American nations is pending but will not be dealt with a by Congress in an election year in view of its highly controversial nature.

August 2004