Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

GATT Approval Proves the Two Parties Can Tango When a Bill's Goals Echo the People's Will, Republicans and Democrats Work Together to Get It Passed

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

GATT Approval Proves the Two Parties Can Tango When a Bill's Goals Echo the People's Will, Republicans and Democrats Work Together to Get It Passed

Article excerpt

AMID the whirlwind of the historic transition to a Republican majority in Congress, we should not lose sight of the significance of the passage of the Uruguay Round of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT).

The approval of GATT has given the American people their first look at how the new Republican congressional leadership can work with President Clinton in the spirit of bipartisanship when the goal is to cut taxes, get government off the backs of American consumers, or create new private-sector jobs.

The GATT "Uruguay Round" should really be called the GATT "American Round."

The major initiatives of this agreement are the direct result of US proposals to reduce or eliminate barriers that our main export industries face from unfair trade practices. If implemented, trade rules will protect intellectual property rights, service providers, and agriculture. The United States is the international leader in each of these fields.

For example, in California, the entertainment industry, writers, and software creators will be major beneficiaries of the new trade rule protecting intellectual property.

The Uruguay Round will also now open foreign markets to service companies in fields such as accounting, computer services, tourism, engineering, and construction.

Finally, this trade agreement lets competitive American farmers reap the benefits of open foreign markets, especially in Asia and Europe.

Free trade is a proven job creator. The expected economic benefits from the Uruguay Round are astounding: added growth of $1 trillion over 10 years, and hundreds of thousands of new private-sector American jobs. The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), a small trade deal compared to the Uruguay Round, has created nearly 100,000 export jobs in just one year.

Some opponents of GATT used the term "fast-track" to create the impression that the negotiating and implementing processes were conducted without public knowledge or input. Just the opposite is true. Congress ensured that the GATT agreement was on a slow and deliberative legislative path. Seven years of negotiations were wrapped up a year ago in Geneva with significant congressional consultation. …

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