Booker, Stabenow, Grassley, Hatch, Brown, Portman

Vehicle for Trade Promotion Authority (H.R. 1314)

Senator Booker: (3:31 PM)

  • Spoke on the Amtrak train derailment.
    • "My thoughts and prayers are with the family, friends and loved ones of the individuals who were killed or injured in last night's train derailment. We still aren't certain of the exact cause but it is a searing reminder, this incident, of the fragility of life. And it's important that we also remember that we should do everything necessary to safeguard life, to make sure we have it and have it more abundantly. Nothing can fix the damage that has been done to these families and their communities. We all grieve as a nation for the loss of life and pray for those injured that they recover. I say now that we must work tirelessly to prevent another tragedy like this from occurring and that we do everything necessary so that we as a nation can have a rail infrastructure - highways, roads, bridges - have an infrastructure as a whole that reflects the greatness of the people of our country."


Senator Stabenow: (3:41 PM)

  • Spoke on trade.
    • "Our job is to make sure there is fairness, that we have the best trade deals and that they are enforceable and then that we have the tools to enforce, which is also in front of us, with the customs bill. You've got to have all of it. We're in a global economy. Everybody is competing. Our job is to make sure we are exporting our products and not our jobs. If we do not focus in a very serious, real way on addressing currency manipulation, we will in fact be leaving a giant loophole through which those companies will drive right through that will allow them to continue cheating and taking our jobs. We can fix that. And I'm hopeful that colleagues will join us on a bipartisan basis for a very strong vote to send a message to the administration, we are serious including this as one of the instructions to them for what we expect to be in trade agreements going forward."


Senator Grassley: (4:15 PM)

  • Spoke on law enforcement.
    • "Our hearts go out to their families and the families of all who have lost their loved ones in the line of duty. The men and women of law enforcement go to work shift after shift, frequently missing celebrations of birthdays, anniversaries and holidays because they believe in serving something greater than themselves. The work of law enforcement is not a job. It is a calling to these people. The calling of those officers devoted to duty merit our utmost respect and gratitude. So as I end, I call on all Americans this week to pause and contemplate the safety and security that we all enjoy. We all must recognize that such peace is the result of sacrifices made by brave men and women of law enforcement. I also want to take this opportunity to thank my colleagues for their overwhelming support of this year's resolution designating National Police Week, which this week passed the full Senate by unanimous consent."


Senator Hatch: (4:31 PM)

  • Spoke on trade.
    • "Hopefully the final agreements that are made in T.P.P. and T-TIP will be agreements everybody can agree will help our country to move forward, will help us have greater relations with other countries throughout the world, will help us to encourage our own industries to be better and to be the best in the world, and we'll be one of those approaches that literally will mean so much to the world at large. This is an important bill. I hope that we can pass it. I believe we will. And I have to say the other two bills are very important, too. I'm not a fan of the T.A.A. bill, never will be. But we understand why that has to pass as well, because there is a bipartisan coalition for it, and that coalition probably would not permit Trade Promotion Authority without the T.A.A. or Trade Adjustment Assistance. All I can say is that I'm pleased that we solved this impasse, and I hope for sure that in the coming days we'll be able to pass Trade Promotion Authority and really put this country back on the trade path that really deserves to be on and which the rest of the world will be pleased to have us be on and where we can have greater cooperation and greater friendships and greater feelings throughout the world than we have right now."


Senator Brown: (5:07 PM)

  • Spoke on trade.
    • "No goods made with forced labor should be allowed to come into the country, period. End of discussion. It's immoral, imperative. We can fix this. The Senate should not remain silent on this. Now is the time to shut the door on this ugly chapter of U.S. law. We do it by passing the customs bill today. All these provisions were added to the bill with strong bipartisan support in the Finance Committee. It is imperative they make it to the president's desk. If we're going to continue to pursue an aggressive trade agenda we must combine it with strong enforcement language. Without enforcement we're willfully stacking the debt for our foreign competitors and against foreign businesses and American workers. We he see what happens when steel mills close. We see what happens when manufacturers close their doors because they can't compete with artificially cheap imports. Trade law without enforcement amount to no free trade at all."


Senator Portman: (5:19 PM)

  • Spoke on trade.
    • "Chinese traders began to approach U.S. producers and importers with proposals even before the case ended to circumvent this so that the trade orders that would be in place would, with regard to China would be circumvented by sending this product to a third country where this strand would be relabeled, possibly repackaged to reflect a different country of origin. By doing so, again, these anti-dumping and countervailing duties would be avoided. Once these trade orders against the P.C. strand were entered, Malaysia did become a new source, significant new source for imports through this transshipment approach. That is what this new legislation goes after. It says when you do this, these kinds of schemes, the U.S. government is required to investigate these cases. It requires customs to make a preliminary determination when they see suspicion of this happening. This is a big step forward. And again, it's going to help companies not just successfully go through the process and the great cost of winning one of these cases but actually having it mean something to them and their workers to make sure companies don't evade it by going to a third country. Another way we can support jobs that's in this customs legislation is called the miscellaneous tariffs bills."