The National Pork Producers Council praised President Bush for sending Congress an outline of his legislative agenda for trade and a formal request for Trade Promotion Authority.

NPPC president Barb Determan said the future of U.S. pork producers depends on expanding U.S. access to foreign markets and those opportunities will be lost without TPA.

The president’s legislative agenda says that obtaining TPA, formerly known as fast track, will be the Bush Administration’s top trade priority this year. In addition, it seeks to break the deadlock over how to promote improvements in labor and environmental conditions in the context of trade negotiations.

Bush said the United States, for example could use labor standards in existing and proposed preferential trade programs, or through U.S. and international agencies, to build adherence to core labor standards.

On environmental protection the president suggested that the effectiveness of the United Nations environmental programs can be improved and that the extent to which environmental concerns are included in lending strategies by multilateral and regional development banks can be strengthened.

NPPC co-chairs a coalition of agriculture organizations committed to renewal of TPA, which expired in 1994.

National Pork Producers Council