Finance Hearing Statement: “Free Trade Agreement Implementation: Lessons from the Past”

WASHINGTON – Today, Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.), a member of the Senate Finance Committee, released the following statement regarding the committee’s hearing, “Free Trade Agreement Implementation: Lessons from the Past.”

“Last month, Ambassador Froman took a critical step in bolstering our country’s relationship with some of the fastest growing economies in the world by signing the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). TPP is a high-standard trade agreement that includes historic requirements for labor and environmental provisions – but like all trade agreements, its standards must be enforced.

“The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative has been successful in pursuing cases with the World Trade Organization (WTO) where our trade partners weren’t holding up their end of our agreements and were unfairly blocking American products. Since 2009, USTR has brought 20 enforcement cases to the WTO and won each decided case so far. In 2014, USTR championed a case for our auto manufacturers when WTO ruled that China was unjustly imposing extra duties on American cars. In 2015, USTR clinched a victory for American farmers when WTO struck down India’s unfair ban on American agricultural products, such as poultry meat and eggs.

“Just yesterday, USTR announced that poultry products were made available to South African consumers for the first time in 15 years. This marks our country’s success in breaking down unfair barriers for American poultry farmers who were shut out of South Africa’s market. On that same day, in another corner of the globe, the United States secured a commitment from Honduras to undertake action to strengthen intellectual property protections. These recent successes signify that our country continues to make important progress in holding our trade partners accountable and protecting our American farmers, workers, and business in the global market.

“As the United States continues to pursue opportunities to encourage trade around the world, we must be vigilant in strengthening trade enforcement to protect American workers and businesses. I look forward to learning more about how we can do that today.”