Hatch, Wyden, Durbin

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

Senator Hatch: (9:51 AM)

  • Spoke on trade.
    • "The Hatch-Wyden amendment would put a number of tools at our disposal to fight currency manipulation, including enhanced transparency, disclosure, reporting, monitoring, cooperative mechanisms as well as enforceable rules - the only thing in the Portman-Stabenow amendment. The Portman-Stabenow amendment provides this single tool -- enforceable rules, subject to trade sanctions. And this single tool is grossly unreliable and poses a serious threat to U.S. interests. If we fail to monitor what's going on in international tribunals against the United States? The Hatch-Wyden amendment would give us maximum transparency and flexibility to tailor our efforts at addressing currency manipulation. The Portman-Stabenow amendment would tie our hands and give us no other option than to subject our trading partners and ourselves to potential sanctions. The Hatch-Wyden amendment would preserve the integrity of our current trade negotiations."


Senator Wyden: (10:11 AM)

  • Spoke on trade.
    • "Now skeptics have argued that the arbiters are invariably biased in favor of corporations. The numbers, however, tell a different story which is the overwhelming majority of cases are decided in favor of governments. The record just does not support the proposition that all of the arbiters are unprincipled individuals that allow corporations to use dispute settlement that laws and regulations close down. Finally I want it to be clear that I will only accept a plan for dispute settlement that uses a transparent process. What's true in trade negotiations overall has to be true with dispute settlement too. America cannot be kept in the dark. Hearings, briefs and decisions and all the matters must be open to the public. The bipartisan legislation now before the Senate will go further than ever before to protect American sovereignty and afirm the fact that only democratically elected leaders write the laws in our country. Done right, done right, our trade policies guarantee that American companies grown up here and invested here and found opportunities to sell brand-or and brand American around the world are going to get the same fair treatment abroad that they get here at home."


Senator Durbin: (10:24 AM)

  • Spoke on the highway trust fund.
    • "Over and over again, Amtrak service is a critical part of our state and its economy. And yet those in leadership here on the Republican side don't believe in it. They want to see it go away, just like they want to see the interstate highway system come to an end. I think they're wrong, I think they're shortsighted. And I think the people of this country have got to speak up. So I guess, I'm serving notice here. Extension will go through. I understand that. But from this point forward it is not going to be automatic anymore. It's not going to be, we'll do 60 day, maybe another 180 days. No, I think we need to have a moment in the Senate and in the House where this convenient extension at the expense of America's future comes to an end. It is time for the Republican speaker and the Republican majority leader to lead, to call together their committees and to pass a federal highway trust fund."
  • Spoke on the PATRIOT Act.
    • "We have an obligation to do something before the end of May. I believe we should call the U.S.A. Freedom Act that passed in the House of Representatives and pass it here. We're told by the president, the attorney general, the head of our intelligence agencies that this is enough authority to keep us safe and no far. I failed to add, a recent court case in the state of New York found that bulk collection of telephone records was illegal. We have to act to do something and we can. But it's tied up in knots. The majority leader took exception to some members of his own party and our own party in our position supporting the U.S.A. Freedom Act. I hope that he'll give us a chance to pass that and I hope there is a bipartisan majority to pass it."
  • Spoke on trade.
    • "When you have a trade agreement, it isn't just a matter of having provisions. They need to be enforceable on a timely fashion or we'll lose businesses and we'll lose jobs in America. So we have two other issues that are before us now. One of them relates to currency. You can price a product by the value of your currency against another country's currency. China and Japan have developed quite a reputation in the world for their currency manipulation to make sure they always have an advantage over the United States, 25% to 30%, no matter how good we were. So currency is an important issue that we brought up an amendment today, and it's an indication, I think, to everyone who follows this debate of the complexity of the debate on trade. There's a second issue brought up by Senator Wyden of Oregon, who is the ranking member of the Senate Finance Committee, and that is the whole issue of what to do when you have a dispute with another country about a provision of law."