Trade Promotion Bill Will Help Spur Better Jobs, Higher Wages and a Stronger Economy
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell made the following remarks on the Senate floor urging cooperation on bipartisan trade legislation:
“Yesterday, Senator Warner, a Democrat, and Senator Ernst, a Republican, joined me in hosting a press conference with small-business owners on the benefits of trade for entrepreneurs.
“I thank them both for coming. I thank Senator Warner in particular for helping to lead his party on the issue.
“We were joined by small-business owners with some pretty incredible stories. These Americans highlighted opportunities that knocking down unfair overseas barriers to American products can provide.
“Take Chase Robbins, a constituent of mine from Shelbyville.
“After Chase was medically discharged from the army, he was able to scrape together $1,600 with a buddy and start the kind of business he’d always dreamed of in 2010. It’s a business that specializes in just the kind of things you’d expect a young guy like Chase to be into: high-performance auto parts. And, thanks to trade, it’s now both a business that exports a percentage of its products and one that also employs fellow Kentuckians.
“His is a small business with three employees for now, but it’s a small business that’s allowing him to live his dreams and help others live theirs too. It’s a story countless other Americans know well, and one we should do everything to encourage. And yet, while Chase has achieved success thanks to trade, he knows there’s still a lot more we should be doing if the aim is to help his business grow, help his employees earn more, and help other Kentuckians live their dreams too.
“Here’s what Chase said yesterday:
‘As our business has grown internationally, we’ve been confronted with barriers that compromise global markets. It was not long after sending our first shipment overseas that we realized trade rules were outdated for our business. Most of the agreements and rules were written before small businesses like ours were able to fully utilize the internet to exploit the global market. Trade agreements offer the best chance to lower barriers and increase market access for small companies like mine. We see a bright future for…companies like ours in the export market but we need new trade deals to get there.’
“So here was Chase’s solution:
‘Trade Promotion Authority is the first step towards modernizing trade agreements,’ he said, ‘and I encourage Congress to pass TPA as soon as possible.’
“Entrepreneurs like Chase know that the United States doesn’t have many trade barriers, but other countries do. They know that many of these barriers are extremely unfair to American workers and American products. And they know that passing trade promotion authority is the way to address such an unfair situation.
“Our friends on the Far Left may try to cynically spin their war against the future as something other than what it truly is, but we know better. It’s no wonder President Obama has called them “wrong” and suggested they make stuff up.
“Because what happens if the Far Left actually succeeds in its apparent quest to retain foreign tariffs that unfairly impact American workers and their paychecks?
“It would mean lost opportunities for American risk-takers like Chase and the employees that entrepreneurs like him care about.
“It would mean lost opportunities for American manufacturing, lost opportunities for Kentucky farmers, and lost opportunities for more jobs, better wages, and a growing economy that can lift everyone up.
“Jobs and a better economy: These are the kinds of things I’m going to continue fighting for. And I think the legislation before us presents a great opportunity to do so.
“President Obama agrees too.
“So I’m going to keep working to get votes on amendments, both Republican and Democrat amendments.
“There have been objections from the other side of the aisle. I would remind our colleagues that even with my strong support, the Senate can’t have a robust amendment process if every single amendment offered by Democrats or Republicans is objected to by our friends across the aisle.
“Our bill managers, Senators Hatch and Wyden, are working hard and we hope to get past those objections so that more amendments can be considered.
“But we’ll need cooperation; the Senate can’t vote on amendments that are blocked.
“We hope to see more of that cooperation, so we can pass good, fair, enforceable trade legislation that will benefit our country and so many of the people we represent.”
Related Issues: Trade Promotion Authority, Free Trade