Sen. Carper Statement on Senate Trade Vote

WASHINGTON – Today, Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.) released the following statement after the Senate failed to pass a procedural vote – on which he voted yes – to begin debate on a package of trade bills.

“Today’s failed vote does not mean the Senate cannot pass Trade Promotion Authority (TPA). I know there are Democrats who support TPA and are willing to move forward, but we must work with our Republican colleagues to strike the right compromise and make it happen. We have already made enormous progress. We’ve come together on a bipartisan basis to pair TPA with Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) – critical legislation that will help workers who are displaced from their jobs because of trade. And we’ve also found meaningful compromises on enforcement and preferences provisions. I’m committed to making sure we don’t let all this hard work go by the wayside and that we get this trade legislation done.

“The bottom line is that we have an opportunity to write the rules for how our country trades with the fastest growing markets in the world and we shouldn’t squander it. The American market is open and our competitors are here, but U.S. goods and services face barriers that keep them from competing on a level playing field in international markets, or even getting there at all. By negotiating fair trade deals that remove these barriers, we can help boost the American economy, create American jobs, increase American wages and strengthen our national security.

“Finally, we shouldn’t lose sight that both the TPA bill and the TAA bill are historic agreements. For the first time, there are requirements for enforceable labor and environmental provisions in TPA. There is clear attention to issues like human rights. And there is enhanced transparency for Congress and the public as trade agreements are being negotiated. Similarly, TAA has been enhanced to help all workers displaced by trade retrain for new careers. These are by far the most far-reaching and progressive TPA and TAA agreements this country has ever seen. What we must do now is work together and get something done – it’s why the people of this country sent us to Washington. I will stay the course on getting this critical trade legislation across the finish line and am hopeful that my colleagues, Democrats and Republicans alike, will join me.”