Sen. Carper Statement on Finance Committee Approval of Trade Bills

WASHINGTON – Senator Tom Carper (D-Del.) released the following statement after the Senate Finance Committee approved several trade bills, including Trade Promotion Authority (TPA), Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA), legislation to extend trade preferences, which includes the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), and legislation to reauthorize customs and enforcement activities.

“Today we made tremendous forward progress – not only in opening up international markets around the globe to American goods and services, but also in making sure they compete on a level playing field when they get there. In Delaware, we know all too well about being shut out of international markets. Poultry farmers in the First State, who create more than $4.6 billion in economic activity each year, face trade barriers in countries all over the world. In South Africa – the largest potential poultry market on the African continent – unfair trade practices keep our chicken farmers from even being able to compete. We’ve made important progress on that front today by making changes to the African Growth and Opportunity Act that can help address this issue, but I want to tear down barriers like these all over the world so Delaware chickens, and all kinds of other products made in my state and across our country, can be sold around the world.

“It’s important to note that while Trade Promotion Authority isn’t new, we have done something historic in this bill. For the first time, we have included the standards that labor and environmental communities have long demanded. By clearly identifying these requirements, Congress will empower our U.S. Trade Representative in negotiations with our international trading partners and ensure any trade deal meets the parameters we’ve set.

“I look forward to the consideration of these bills by the full Senate and will continue working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to make sure we do everything we can to make trade agreements that will create American jobs, boost American wages, and stimulate the American economy.”