Statements and Speeches

WASHINGTON – Today, Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.) participated in the Finance Committee hearing, "The President's 2011 Trade Agenda."


A copy of Sen. Carper's remarks, as prepared for delivery, follows:


"Today's hearing on President Obama's trade agenda is of great importance to me and to my home state of Delaware. I would like to thank U.S. Trade Ambassador Ron Kirk for his hard work in advancing the President's trade agenda, which includes a commitment to proceeding with key international trade agreements. Moving forward with these trade agreements is a fundamental step in our continued work to strengthen the U.S. economy and make firm our economic recovery. Solidifying our trade agreements with other countries is also vital to the President's goal of doubling exports in the next five years – a goal that I strongly support. While there are a few issues that I know are being worked out in finalizing the agreements, I support moving forward with trade agreements with Korea, Colombia and Panama and believe that we can resolve these issues in the near term. 


"If we are to succeed economically today, the U.S. must keep up with the global economy and maintain a competitive advantage abroad. In Delaware, where we have more chickens than people by a margin of 300 to one, our chicken industry has grown to be an international industry. Today, about one out of every five chickens produced by local growers on the Delmarva Peninsula are exported overseas. As the worldwide demand for protein continues to increase in the coming years, ensuring that more and more of our Delaware chickens can be sold overseas is a top priority for me. Ultimately, selling more chickens in countries around the world means more jobs and revenue for farmers in the First State, and not just for those who sell chickens, but for the thousands more who are part of the larger supply chain. It is estimated that the Free Trade Agreements with Korea, Colombia and Panama will lead to an additional $150 million a year in export revenue for the U.S. chicken industry and will create 13,500 new jobs in the industry, resulting in an additional $11 million per year in export revenue and 1,000 new jobs in the chicken industry in Delaware.


"In order to sell more of our commodities overseas, like chickens, we must remove trade barriers that prevent other countries from buying our goods. Tariffs like those that American businesses are faced with in Korea, which average 54 percent, have hindered our companies from gaining access to important markets overseas. Colombia is advancing in its trade relations with Canada and China, giving greater access to their goods each day that we wait. The time to act is now, and while there is still a bit more work that needs to be done, I am confident that we can work together here in Congress and with the Administration to advance these three trade agreements."