The National Association of Manufacturers called on Congress to speed approval this week of four new free trade agreements.
The Washington-based group hailed the Bush administration and congressional leaders for finalizing the formal text for congressional consideration of pending free trade agreements with Peru, Panama, Colombia and South Korea.
"Now that the Peruvian government has also approved this text, it is important that Congress pass this agreement before the August recess," said NAM President John Engler, in a statement.
President Bush's Trade Promotion Authority to negotiate pacts that Congress can approve or disapprove but not amend or filibuster is set to expire on Saturday. Free trade accords with Panama and South Korea must be signed by the week's end.
"Expanding free trade is good news for America's manufacturers -- and their employees -- who prosper when they export," Engler said. "It's important that lawmakers don't lock the door and throw away to the key to future trade agreements by failing to renew TPA this week."