|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:||CONTACT: CHRISTI HARLAN|
|Monday, August 28, 2000||202-224-0894|
Sen. Phil Gramm, chairman of the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs, today praised the work of the International Trade Commission in its investigation of the effect of including the United Kingdom in the North American Free Trade Agreement.
"This report demonstrates the potential benefit of cementing our strong relationship with Great Britain by joining with them in a free-trade partnership," Gramm said. "I am also convinced that such a partnership would go far toward removing the trade barriers that are being built around the European Union."
The report of the ITC investigation, requested last November by the Senate Finance Committee, was released today. Gramm, a member of the Senate Finance Committee, is chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, which has jurisdiction over export and foreign trade promotion, as well as international economic policy.
"Free trade promotes individual freedom and prosperity around the globe, and most regional free trade agreements help expand global trade," Gramm said. "Unfortunately, the European Union has been turning away from free trade, succumbing to protectionist impulses.
"The answer is not to pull Great Britain away from the European Union. That is neither necessary nor desirable. Instead, we should work to build a bridge between Europe and North America, starting with a free-trade agreement between Great Britain and the members of NAFTA. The ITC report is an important step toward that goal. It conclusively demonstrates that there are no economic obstacles to a free-trade partnership.
"I am sure that this isn't an issue that most Americans think about when they get up in the morning, but they enjoy the benefits from trade every moment of their lives. Trade that flows freely across continents and oceans gives more people in more nations a chance to enjoy a better life."
The report on ITC Investigation No. 332-409 is available at http://www.usitc.gov.
Highlights of the report, prepared by the Senate Banking Committee staff, are available here.