Gardner, Brown, Merkley, Hatch

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

Senator Gardner: (2:16 PM)

  • Spoke on trade.
    • "I hope members will put aside tendencies to play politics with the Trade Promotion Authority and give us a chance to grow our economy, to make more products representative with the symbol and label "Made in America." That is the chance we have today, to give our workers a competitive advantage, to create an opportunity for increased trade in an area of the world where we face increasing competition and regional threats, to show that the united States will indeed be a part of a region in the world that represents so much opportunity. And as we've seen increases in Colorado and beyond in trade and trade opportunities, this bill represents a chance for us to continue improving our ability to grow Colorado's economy and Colorado trade. So to our colleagues across the Senate, I indeed hope that we will invoke cloture today, that we will move forward on debate, that we will have an opportunity to continue our work to support trade and to move toward passage of the final T.P.P."

 

Senator Brown: (2:20 PM)

  • Spoke on trade.
    • "By excluding two of the four bills from the initial package, we're excluding critical bipartisan provisions that protect workers and ensure strong trade enforcement. We need to make sure steel manufacturers and other companies in our country are protected from unfair dumping. That is why I introduced along with my colleagues Senators Portman, Casey and Burr and Bennett and Coats the Level the Playing Field Act. It would strengthen enforcement of trade laws, it would increase the ability of the steel industry to fight back against unfair trade practices. It passed the Senate Finance Committee but in the majority leader's package and Senator Hatch's package, it is nowhere to be found on the floor today. We need to make sure strong currency provisions are included. The Finance Committee overwhelmingly supported my amendment 18-8. We had supporters, the support of Republican colleagues: Senators Portman, Grassley, Crapo and Burr and Isakson. This provision ensures a level playing field for American business. It is nowhere to be found in the majority leader's package. Any trade package needs to ensure we aren't importing products made with child labor."

 

Senator Merkley: (4:25 PM)

  • Spoke on trade.
    • "The first step in the process is to say look at those markets. Wouldn't it be wonderful in that nation if we had direct access, improved access? Particularly we've done a series of agreements with very low-wage and low environmental standard, low-enforcement nations. That is the first second. The second stage is we're competing with products made in that country, so we better make sure we open a factory there as well. And then suddenly instead of those products coming from the United States to a foreign nation, and in fact those products are being made in that foreign nation, then comes stage three. Now that we're making those products overseas at a much lower price because of the lower wages, lower environmental standards and lower enforcement, it doesn't make sense to make those products in the United States anymore. So that's how we lost five million manufacturing jobs in America. That's how we lost 50,000 factories in America. And so for those who want to put forward this illusion, mirage that somehow this is going to increase American production, American citizens should know in fact that is a false promise, a false promise that has been put out time after time after time and shown to be wrong again and again and again."

 

Senator Hatch: (2:28 PM)

  • Spoke on trade.
    • "I urge my colleagues to support the motion to proceed. All this does is get us on the bill. We need to have a robust debate about trade agenda, and I'm willing to do that. Of course the Senate centerpiece is T.P.A. No question about it. I know our staffs have been working together to find a path forward on enforced customs. This is an important bill and we need to get it through the Senate, but to do that we need to begin debate today. Trade Promotion Authority is the key to our economic future. I hope my colleagues will stand with me and President Obama to vote yes so we may update and modernize our trade laws and help lay the groundwork for a healthy economy for our children and our grandchildren. 95% of the world's trade is outside of our country. Trade producers, better salaries, 13% to 18%. We have worked through all the problems in the committee. We've had plenty of amendments, lots of debate."