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Tim Brightbill Discusses President Obama's Free Trade Initiative

CNBC Asia
May 14, 2015

Timothy C. Brightbill, a partner in Wiley Rein’s International Trade Practice, was interviewed by CNBC Asia’s Squawk Box yesterday regarding President Obama’s free trade initiative, including the need to enforce current international trade laws, and the future of fast-track negotiating authority—known as Trade Promotion Authority (TPA)—and the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).

The theme of enforcement was repeated in discussions on the U.S. Senate floor yesterday, when an agreement was reached regarding a new trade bill after Democrats had blocked a fast-track authority bill the day before. The new bill is intended to protect U.S. firms from currency manipulation and unfair trade practices currently in existence.

“There’s still a lot of work to be done before American companies and industries are going to support trade promotion authority and new trade agreements,” Mr. Brightbill said, noting that the United States should not be approving new free trade agreements until it has better ways of enforcing the current agreements.

Mr. Brightbill pointed out that TPP is intended to be the “trade agreement gold standard for the 21st century” and would be the first free trade agreement ever to address the problem of U.S. companies competing with state-owned enterprises. “It’s a big challenge and the negotiations have been going on for a long time; now is the time to try and move forward as long as we can get some better enforcement provisions and trade remedies for companies when they do suffer from unfair trade practices,” Mr. Brightbill concluded.

The video can be viewed here.