Statements and Speeches

WASHINGTON – Today, Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.), a member of the Senate Finance Committee attended the committee’s hearing on “President Obama's 2015 Trade Policy Agenda.”

“Thank you Mr. Chairman for holding this important hearing today. And thank you Ranking Member Wyden for your leadership on this issue in the last year. I also want to welcome Ambassador Froman, freshly arrived back in Washington after an eventful trip to India with President Obama. I am pleased to hear from you what priorities you plan to pursue in the coming year.

“Today we’re here to talk about trade policy, an issue I have great optimism for in this Congress. Seizing the opportunity we have to get meaningful legislation done this year to promote free and fair trade while protecting American workers is critical to continuing the economic recovery and fostering an environment in which job growth is possible.

“Our first priority on trade, as a committee, a Senate and a Congress, should be to pass the Trade Promotion Authority that will update our current process to make it more effective, improve transparency, and provide Congress with enhanced oversight of the Administration’s trade negotiation efforts. It would provide the U.S. with the opportunity to seek commitments to address new or expanded issues, such as unfair regulatory barriers and state-owned enterprises that confront American companies seeking to do business in other countries. One of the most urgent needs for enacting this legislation is to create a path forward on ambitious trade agreements that represent enormous opportunity, such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership. Adopting these trade agreements would help bolster our relationship with some of the fastest growing economies in the world.

“In Delaware, international trade supports 120,000 jobs and billions of dollars in exports to 187 countries around the world. But I know we could do much more – for example we know the farmers and producers in my state have the capacity to reach more markets than we are reaching today. The chickens we grow in my state of Delaware, and on the rest of the Delmarva Peninsula, are a huge economic driver for our communities – creating an excess of $4.5 billion per year of direct economic activity.  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.

“I believe it is our job to remove as many of those barriers as possible. Congress needs to do our part to help both American workers and businesses – large and small – compete and win in our global economy.  The two major trade agreements currently being negotiated, the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (T-TIP), both represent tremendous opportunities to expand agricultural exports, and I hope that this is considered a priority as negotiations continue. We also need to be vigilant in ensuring that our trade partners uphold the rules and regulations of our trade agreements so we can ensure that American goods and services can compete on a level playing field.

“In a global economy, America should seek to establish high-standard symbiotic trade relationships with every market we can reach. The potential for U.S. manufacturers, farmers and service providers is enormous, but we must also work to ensure we truly achieve the high-standard agreements that will maximize job creation and preservation here at home. I believe this Congress is on track to do just that and I look forward to working with this committee to that end.”