McConnell Urges Senate to Come Together Over Emerging Trade Legislation
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell made the following remarks on the Senate floor today regarding bipartisan trade promotion legislation:
“For all the issues that may divide Democrats and Republicans these days, there’s one thing many of us can agree on: trade is good for America.
“There’s bipartisan agreement that trade is good for American wages, with export-related manufacturing jobs paying nearly 20 percent more than other jobs.
“And there’s bipartisan agreement that trade is good for American jobs overall. According to one study, trade supports nearly 40 million jobs nationally — about 1 out of every 5 jobs — and more than half a million jobs in my home state of Kentucky.
“In fact, Kentucky’s exports in goods and services have already increased dramatically since the enactment of trade agreements with countries like Australia — from about $10 billion a year to almost $30 billion a year.
“So trade is good for Kentucky. Trade is good for our country.
“And that's why this is an issue where the White House and Congress are working together to support American jobs and wages.
“Now, while the United States has historically been a world leader in opening more markets to the things our country makes and grows, we’ve fallen woefully behind in recent years.
“Thankfully, emerging agreements with countries in Europe and the Pacific present us with a real chance to catch up. These agreements present us with the unique opportunity to export more of what we make over there, so we can create more American jobs right here—at home.
“But we can’t make this important progress for America’s Middle Class without passing the right kind of trade legislation here in Congress first.
“There’s bipartisan agreement – in principle at least – to do that.
“But the details will obviously be important. We want to ensure we get those details of that legislation right, so that we can get the best agreements possible for the American people.
“We certainly don’t want to be considering legislation that would make these goals harder to achieve — undermining future economic and job growth.
“The good news is, our country has decades of experience with the kind of bipartisan trade promotion legislation that allows for the best deals for American workers to be negotiated by America’s trade representatives, and then approved by Congress.
“Several members of my conference will speak about that issue on the floor today.
“Like many of our Democratic friends, these Senators are interested in getting the best deals possible for the American people—the kind of deals that would only be possible with truly effective and bipartisan trade legislation.
“So they’ll explain this important issue — and just what’s needed — in further detail.
“And before I leave the floor, please allow me to recognize the Chairman of the Finance Committee for being an incredible advocate on this issue. And please allow me to recognize the Ranking Member of the Finance Committee for working hard to get this right.
“I look forward to working with these members, and all members, on this important issue.”
Related Issues: Trade Promotion Authority, TPP, Free Trade, Jobs, Middle Class