Sen. Carper Statement on Senate Consideration of Trade Bills

WASHINGTON – Today, Senator Tom Carper (D-Del.) released the following statement after the Senate passed legislation to enhance customs and enforcement activities and legislation to extend trade preferences, which includes the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), and began debate on Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) and Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) legislation.

“Today, Democrats and Republicans worked together and made tremendous progress on trade bills that are critically important to our country’s competiveness in the global economy. Through communication and collaboration we found meaningful compromises on legislation dealing with trade enforcement and preferences that paved the way for the Senate to begin debate on legislation combining Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) and Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA).

“TPA is essential to achieving trade deals that will benefit American workers and businesses by leveling the playing field in markets around the globe and TAA will ensure that we help workers who are displaced from their jobs because of trade by retraining them for new careers.

“We know that 95 percent of the world’s consumers are outside of our country’s borders, so we must not squander the opportunity to write the rules for how our country trades with our international partners. If we don’t negotiate fair and open trade deals with these countries – particularly in the fastest growing markets in Asia – China and our other competitors will take the lead and negotiate agreements that benefit them.

“In Delaware, we know all too well that our poultry farmers, who create more than $4.5 billion in economic activity each year, face unfair trade barriers in various countries across the globe. In fact, our poultry farmers can’t even get their products to South Africa – the largest potential poultry market on that continent – because of unfair trade practices. The trade preferences bill we passed today can help address this issue and tear down the barriers that keep Delaware chickens from being sold all over the world.

“I look forward to a healthy debate on TPA and TAA and I will continue work with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to make sure we do everything we can to encourage trade deals that will better protect the environment, create American jobs, boost American wages, strengthen our economy and enhance our national security.”