President Obama will find strong support in the new House majority if he accelerates foreign trade efforts, Rep. Kevin Brady, R-Texas, said Tuesday.
Brady will chair the House Ways and Means subcommittee on trade beginning in January. He told a U.S. Chamber of Commerce audience that the committee will work more closely with Customs and Border Protection to ensure that trade facilitation aligns with the agency’s security mission.
“I feel like the president is getting serious about an ambitious trade agenda, and he will find a very willing and eager partner in House Republicans,” Brady said.
While the administration recently endorsed a free trade agreement with South Korea, FTA negotiations with Colombia and Panama are still pending. Both carry over from the Bush administration.
“I don’t think there is any question we need to have an aggressive trade strategy sooner rather than later,” Brady said. “There is no better way to show the rest of the world that America is serious than moving those three FTAs.”
Brady also said his subcommittee will work closely with Customs and complete a reauthorization bill that the subcommittee began work on in the 111th Congress. He also supports development of the Automated Commercial Environment and International Trade Data System to make facilitation “better, cheaper, faster.”
Brady promised a “new day” in relations with Customs. He said the agency has been “at arm’s length too long.”
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