The US’s largest trade and business groups yesterday released a letter, calling on the Obama administration to “make the case” for free trade. From the letter: “We need to revitalize our export and international trade leadership by moving forward on multilateral, regional and bilateral market-opening opportunities.” The Financial Times goes on to report:

The letter, which is signed by the presidents of the US Chamber of Commerce, the Emergency Committee for American Trade, the Business Roundtable, the National Foreign Trade Council, the National Association of Manufacturers and the United States Council for International Business, calls on Mr Obama to explain the benefits of trade deals to the US electorate.

“Until now the Obama administration has been entirely reactive on trade,” said Calman Cohen, head of the Emergency Committee for American Trade. “Instead of proposing trade initiatives it has ceded leadership to Congress, which has adopted market closing rather than market opening initiatives, such as the buy American provisions in the fiscal stimulus package.”