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U.S. Trade Rep Pushes for WTO Talks

Susan Schwab is looking to make progress on restarting Doha round trade talks this week at the World Economic Forum; Bush to ask for extension of trade authority.

During the annual World Economic Forum meetings in Davos, Switzerland this week, U.S. Trade Representative Susan Schwab will speak with other trade officials to try to move towards resumption of the World Trade Organization's Doha round of trade talks.

"The World Economic Forum provides an excellent opportunity to put a spotlight on the Doha Round's potential to spur development and economic opportunity around the world through trade," Ambassador Schwab says in a press release. "I look forward to continuing discussions with trade ministers and exploring ways to build on the progress we have been making over the past few months."

Meanwhile, administration sources say President Bush will soon ask Congress for an extension of his fast-track trade authority, set to expire this summer. That authority, which forces Congress to make an up-or-down vote on trade agreements sent there by the administration, is seen as a crucial part of U.S. involvement in global trade talks.

The new Democratic-led Congress includes many members who are skeptical of globalization, and Rep. Collin Peterson, D-Minn., has said he does not believe Congress will grant Bush the extension.

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