Hatch, Schumer, Wyden

Legislative Session

Senator Hatch: (11:18 AM)

  • Spoke on trade.
    • "The bill will establish a chief innovation and intellectual property negotiator with the rank of ambassador to ensure intellectual property rights protection is at the forefront of our trade negotiation and enforcement efforts. And to enhance USTR's accountability to Congress on these issues. On top of that, the bill will give USTR for enforcement for trade secrets and ensure countries that consistently fail to protect intellectual meet specified benchmarks for improvement. I'm a big fan of this bill, it includes a number of my top trade enforcement priorities and I'm very glad we'll get a chance to vote on it today. Of course, it's not perfect. Some of the amendments that were added in committee leave me with some reservations. Most notably the bill now contains provisions that purport to deal with constitutions manipulation that are in my view very problematic … Overall, this is a very good bill. A lot of work has gone into it and I know that it reflects the priorities of a number of our colleagues and members here in the Senate, including myself. That being the case, I plan to vote in in favor of passing this legislation later on today and I urge my colleagues to do the same."

 

Senator Schumer: (11:40 AM)

  • Spoke on trade.
    • "I rise to urge my colleagues to support the customs bill before this body, particularly because of the strong language it contains on the crackdown on currency manipulation. I've spoken many times on this subject in the Finance Committee and here on the floor because I'm passionate about finally passing enforceable mechanisms for dealing with this malicious trade tactic. Why? Because I'm deeply concerned by the plight of the middle class in today's economy. Where globalization and free trade agreements have accelerated a downward pressure on middle-class wages and forced entire industries to relocate to low-wage countries and I believe currency manipulation is one of the most significant emerging trade challenges this country faces because it directly impacts wages and directly impacts jobs. As this Congress is soon to reengage on a fast-track for a massive free trade agreement, now is the time to think deeply and comprehensively about trade policy and how it impacts the economy. To me and many of my colleagues it does not make sense to move forward with a blank check for free trade without passing strong worker protections on a parallel track."

 

Senator Wyden: (11:49 AM)

  • Spoke on trade. 
    • "The extension of G.S.P. will save American businesses an estimated $2 million a day by reducing tariffs. The G.S.P. program expired nearly two years ago, and as a result businesses in my home state of Oregon paid an extra $4.9 million in tariffs. Renewing G.S.P. would correct that issue. It will support as many as 80,000 jobs: manufacturers, ports, farmers and retail stores. That program would be extended by this legislation through 2017. And finally the Senate has an opportunity with this legislation to reaffirm our economic commitment to Haiti, one of our closest and most disadvantaged neighbors in the world. In my view, Senator Nelson of Florida has done very important work in this area. He has been our leader on this issue, and there is bipartisan understanding that now is the right time to extend to Haiti trade preferences to line them up with ago. These Haiti preferences also did not exist in the NAFTA era. Together they support as many as 30,000 jobs in that country and they help to drive investment and lift Haiti's economy in the long term."