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26 Int'l L. News 1 (1997)

handle is hein.journals/inrnlwnw26 and id is 1 raw text is: INTERNATIONAL

Section of International Law and Practice

American Bar Association, Vol. 26 No. 1 Winter 1997

An Agenda for the Next

By Stewart A. Baker and Peter Lichtenbaum
After Inauguration Day, many Section
lawyers are pondering the $64 million
question: What can we expect from tile
Clinton administration and the Congress
in 1997 in the international arena?
Although crystal-ball gazing may strike
some seasoned observers as foolhardy,
particularly given the recent changes in
top administration officials, in Washington
such predictions are a part of a lawyer's
job description.
NAFTA Expansion
In 1996 there was bipartisan agreement
that the North American Free Trade
Agreement (NAFTA) should be expanded
to include Chile. However, because the
Clinton administration and the
Republican Congress disagreed as to
whether fast-track negotiating authority
should include labor and environmental
issues, no legislation was passed.
Fast-track authority should come up early
in the next congressional session. Its
prospects appear improved from 1996,
but a significant administration effort will
still be required to obtain Congressional
passage. Both the administration and cer-
tain key members of Congress recognize
the need for the United States to play a
leadership role in trade liberalization in
the hemisphere, given that Latin American

countries are moving forward indepen-
dently with free-trade initiatives. For
example, the European Union has entered
into free-trade talks with countries in the
region, and Canada recently signed a free-
trade agreement with Chile. Moreover,
after the presidential election, the oppor-
tunities for bipartisan cooperation may
have improved. However, it is far from
certain that any legislation will pass, given
the reduced number of free-trade advo-
cates in Congress and public skepticism of
the benefits of free-trade agreements.
Rather than focusing on Chile, the legisla-
tion may provide fast-track authority for
several countries. This approach reflects
tile difficulty of getting fast-track authority
passed and the marginal economic benefits
to the United States of a free-trade agree-
ment with Chile. To win political support
for fast-track legislation, the administra-
tion will need to assemble a broad range
of supporters who are strongly committed
to the effort, and this is likely to require a
broader approach to the legislation. Tile
Section's International Trade Committee is
currently examining the issue of extending
fast-track authority
World Trade Organization
At the World Trade Organization (WTO),
key action items for the administration in
1997 are the admission of China and
progress in certain sectors not addressed
in the Uruguay Round. The Information
continued on page 14

Call for Nominations  ............... 3
Profile: John  D. Holum  ............. 4
1997  Issues Agenda  ............... 5
ILEX  Trips  ...................... 10
Spring Meeting Program  ........... 11
Developments in
Private International
Trade Financed by
Accounts Receivable:
Can International Rules
Be Unified by the Year
by Don Wallace, Jr. and Harold Burman
A recently completed two-week
meeting of the UN Commission
on International Trade Law
(UNCITRAL) highlighted several
major issues concerning the role
of private law harmonization at
the international level in eco-
nomic development. UNCITRAL
is seeking to draft a multilateral
treaty on international secured
interests for general commercial
and inventory financing, known
as receivables financing. Apart
from substantive issues, such as
priority between lenders and
other claimants (which has tradi-

continued on page 18


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