Washington: President Barack Obama on Saturday called on the Congress to pass trade promotion authority legislation to ensure that the US, and not countries like China, can play a leading role in negotiating 21st century deals to protect American workers and promote its businesses.
"As we speak, China is trying to write the rules for trade in the 21st century. That would put our workers and our businesses at a massive disadvantage. We can't let that happen.?We should write those rules," Obama said in his weekly web and radio address to the nation.
"That's why Congress should act on something called trade promotion authority. This is bipartisan legislation that would protect American workers, and promote American businesses, with strong new trade deals from Asia to Europe that aren?t just free, but are fair," he said.
Obama said the trade promotion authority would level the playing field for American workers and hold all countries to the same high labour and environmental standards.
"We should make sure the future is written by us. And if we do, we won't just keep creating good new jobs for decades to come ? we'll make sure that this century is another all-American century," Obama said.
At a moment when US businesses are creating jobs at the fastest pace since the 1990s, the country has still got to do everything it can to help workers and businesses succeed in the new economy ? one that's competitive, connected, and changing every day, he said.
"One thing we know for certain about businesses in the 21st century is that they'll need to sell more goods and services Made in America to the rest of the world," he said.
"Now, our businesses already sell goods and services in other countries at record levels. Our farmers, our factory workers, and our small businesses are exporting more than ever before ? and exporters tend to pay their workers higher wages," he added.