WASHINGTON – Today, Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.) released the following statement regarding his decision to vote for free trade agreements with South Korea, Panama and Colombia:
"Today, the Senate has an opportunity to show the American people that we are able to set aside our differences, work together, and do what is best for our country. I have decided to vote to approve the three trade agreements with South Korea, Panama and Colombia because I believe they will bring greater opportunities for American businesses and workers. At a time when people in Delaware and across this country are struggling to find work, bipartisan efforts to create jobs and opportunities for American businesses – like this one – are my top priority.
"These trade agreements will level the playing field for American workers, farmers and businesses that are currently disadvantaged by unfair tariffs and other trade practices. By easing the flow of U.S. goods to these countries, American companies can better compete and win in the global economy. For example, lower tariffs on our agricultural products will help Delmarva's chicken growers sell more products overseas. Right now, our farmers face unbelievably high tariffs to these countries, which means some of them don't export to South Korea, Panama or Colombia. These trade agreements will create immediate market access for our growers, which could generate an additional $10 million or more per year in export revenue for Delaware farmers. These agreements will also help traditional manufacturers save money and export more goods and services, while removing discriminatory regulatory hurdles for insurance and financial services companies looking to increase business opportunities overseas.
"Although I believe these agreements are an overall win for our economy, some workers and businesses may still be negatively impacted by free trade. That's why I worked hard to develop and pass Trade Adjustment Assistance – legislation that would help displaced workers develop the skills they need to find new jobs. These agreements are the right thing to do for our country and for American workers, and that's why I'm joining my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to support these important pieces of legislation."