White House counters nationalist attacks on trade freedom efforts

WASHINGTON, February 18, 2014 (AFP) – The White House moved Tuesday to fend off criticism of its efforts to seal two new giant free trade pacts, saying the deals would benefit US workers and protect the environment. “Some of the criticisms I hear of our agenda describe the state of the trade policy in 1994, not 2014,” Froman said.

“They are criticisms of a trade policy this President has explicitly rejected.”

In the current negotiations, he said, worker and environmental protections rank as high as tariff cuts in importance.

Though many details of the TPP and TTIP negotiations remain secret, Froman said the White House was already in consultations with Congress, industry and civil society groups over the talks.

And he said that a new body, the Public Interest Trade Advisory Committee, would be created to better include input from academics, non-governmental organizations and other groups in the talks.

“The world without TPP is a world with lower labor standards, weaker environmental protections and fewer opportunities for job growth in the US,” he said.

“In my view, a world with TPP is a world that is in the interest of America’s workers and America’s families.” Under attack from its