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Withdrawing Approval of the United States from Agreement Establishing the World Trade Organization

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Location: Washington, DC


WITHDRAWING APPROVAL OF THE UNITED STATES FROM AGREEMENT ESTABLISHING THE WORLD TRADE ORGANIZATION -- (House of Representatives - June 09, 2005)

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Mr. HOLT. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to express my concerns about H. Res. 27. H. Res. 27 would withdrawal the United States from participation in the World Trade Organization. I did not support a similar resolution five years ago, and I do not support this resolut ion today,

International trade is not just inevitable, it is a good thing. We live in a world today where more people can afford ever cheaper goods. But lowering the cost of goods and increasing their availability is not the single goal of trade. Trade done right helps lift the global standard of living and works to protect the irreplaceable environment we inherited. Trade is about values. I want to make sure the United States not only exports our-world class agriculture, but also our respect for the na tural environment and enforceable labor laws. We should make sure we export the goods we produce and not the workers who produce them.

That is why we must use the WTO to address these labor and environmental concerns. But if we walk away from the WTO, we won't be able to address any of these issues, Where else can we give voice to issues of child labor or environmentally destructive practices of some industries? The WTO-imperfect as it may be-is the forum that we, along with the other members of the int ernational community, established to enforce trade rules and more importantly allow for an open dialogue on the trade issues that concern us.

We need to realize that even if there are legitimate problems with the WTO, and I agree that some exist, the solution is not to unilaterally withdraw from the WTO. Withdrawing from the WTO would not help to solve any of these problems. Not one. We cannot stop trade, and we cannot end the global economy. What we can do is work within the World Trade Organization to address these concerns. We should not allow any others to dictate to us about what is in our national interest, but we must recognize that we cannot accomplish our national goals in isolation from the rest of the world. We can only work to protect American workers from anticompetitive practices of foreign countries from within the WTO, not by sitting on the sidelines. We should be working with our trade partners and with the WTO to enforce our existing trade rules. I urge my colleagues to vote against this resolution.

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