WITHDRAWING APPROVAL OF THE UNITED STATES FROM AGREEMENT ESTABLISHING THE WORLD TRADE ORGANIZATION -- (House of Representatives - June 09, 2005)
BREAK IN TRANSCRIPT
Mr. UDALL of Colorado. Mr. Speaker, I would like to clarify my opposition to H.J. Res. 27, a resolution to withdraw U.S. approval of the Uruguay Round Agreement Act establishing the World Trade Organization (WTO).
Although I oppose the resolution, I am glad we are having this debate today. The 1994 law that helped create the WTO included an important provision that allows Congress to reassess U.S. participation in the organization every five years. The constantly shifting global trade landscape makes regular Congressional review of U.S. participation in the WTO especially critical.
Like many of my constituents, I am concerned about investment and jobs moving to other countries that have weaker labor and environmental standards. I am also concerned about the growing U.S. trade deficit, WTO pressure to downgrade our consumer protections, and challenges to our federal laws posed by the WTO's closed dispute resolution tribunals.
But retaining U.S. participation in the WTO doesn't mean we can't or shouldn't work to improve global trading system. The objective should be to mend it, not end it. The WTO is the only international organization dealing with the global rules of trade between nations. Over 90 percent of all world trade is conducted within the WTO.
Withdrawal from the WTO would isolate the U.S. from the international economy. It would also eliminate the best recourse Ame rican businesses and workers have when faced with unfair trade barriers: dispute resolution. If we were to withdraw from the WTO, other countries could impose unfair tariffs or other barriers to American goods, or ``dump'' goods, and we could only retaliate in return and risk getting into a potentially dangerous trade war.
If we want to grow and expand our economic opportunities, we must engage with the rest of the world. I believe that abandoning a rules-based trade system would be detrimental to Ameri can families, workers, business, and national security. We need to do all we can to ensure Americans benefit from the global economy. But shutting our doors on the WTO isn't the answer.
BREAK IN TRANSCRIPT