HEARING: “The President’s 2013 Trade Agenda”

WASHINGTON – Today, Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.) participated in a Senate Finance Committee hearing entitled, “The President’s 2013 Trade Agenda.” For more information or to watch a webcast of the hearing, click here.

His statement, as prepared for delivery, follows:

“Today’s hearing on President Obama’s trade agenda is of great importance to me and my home state of Delaware. Since coming to office, President Obama has laid out an ambitious trade agenda, much of which has come to fruition due in no small part to the work of our recently departed U.S. Trade Representative, Ron Kirk. From the implementation of the three free trade agreements with South Korea, Colombia and Panama to the reauthorization of the Export-Import Bank and permanent normal trade relations with Russia, Congress and the Administration have worked together to provide a nurturing environment for our farmers and entrepreneurs to grow and thrive.

“Looking ahead, we see both challenges and opportunities. In Delaware, where we have more chickens than people by a margin of 300 to 1, our chicken industry has grown to be an international powerhouse. Exporting more chickens around the world means farmers in the First State, both those who sell chickens and those who are part of the larger supply chain, could see more revenues and, in turn, create more jobs. However, far too often we find countries imposing barriers for U.S. poultry exports. In order to sell more of our commodities overseas, like chickens, we should remove trade barriers that prevent other countries from buying our goods.

“As we finalize Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations, work to establish Trade Promotion Authority and begin discussions on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership Agreement, I will work to encourage the Administration to pursue high-standard agreements that represent a 21st Century framework. It is my hope that, in the context of these larger discussions, we can resolve issues that will open markets for U.S. poultry, seek high intellectual property standards to encourage our entrepreneurs and innovators and ensure American workers are not unfairly disadvantaged.

“I look forward to working with the President and his next Trade Representative on the trade agenda to ensure America maintains its competitive advantage in the global marketplace. One of the primary roles of government is to provide a nurturing environment for businesses to grow and hire, and opening markets for U.S. exports is a key component to doing just that.”