Schrader defends Trade vote

Congressman Kurt Schrader Kurt-schrader

Congressman Kurt Schrader (OR-05) voted for H.R. 644, the Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act, more commonly known as Trade Promotion Authority (TPA). The bill passed the House by a vote of 219-211.

“95 percent of the world’s consumers live outside the United States. The state of Oregon set a record last year with over $20 billion in exports. Oregon is the 7th largest trader state in our country — we can’t afford to sit back and let China dictate the terms of trade with Asia’s burgeoning middle class ready to buy American goods. Our small businesses, our farms, our ranches all need the ability to more easily export their goods across the Pacific. These increased exports will create good-paying jobs and boost our economy.”

“The Executive has held the power to negotiate bilateral trade agreements with other nations since Franklin Delano Roosevelt was in the White House. The 2015 TPA is very different than the last TPA in 2002. It addresses the very concerns labor and environmentalists have asked for. They have helped make it so much better. International, accountable labor and environmental standards are now in the core of the document. The new TPA now addresses unfair competition from government sponsored enterprises, protects intellectual property and data, addresses human rights and currency manipulation, strengthens fair competition for American agriculture, and more. It has unparalleled transparency provisions broadening access to members of Congress and staff, preventing the President from signing a trade agreement without full and complete public access 60 days prior, and allows Congress to cancel ‘fast track’ if either the House or Senate feel his team has not negotiated in good faith.”

“Because of increasing globalization, with or without trade agreements, I have voted for the most robust long term trade adjustment assistance for workers in both service and manufacturing that feel they have lost their jobs and need retraining. This program keeps faith with American working men and women as they compete in an increasingly global economy.”

“The greatest power in the 21st century will be the country with the biggest economy that sells its goods to the rising middle class outside of this country around the globe. With America setting the rules of engagement, not China, we can fulfill that role.”

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