Senator John Kerry (D-Mass.), a senior member of the Senate Finance Committee, released the following statement today in support of Chairman Baucus's announcement today of an agreement to move ahead with Trade Adjustment Assistance and three FTA's negotiated by the Obama Administration:
"The agreement struck by Chairman Baucus paves the way to open markets to American products and help American workers adjust to an increasingly competitive world. I know the Chairman had to clear many hurdles to get to this point, and his hard-fought negotiations and hard-earned concessions from the other side clear the way to reinforce America's leadership in world trade. We must seize this moment. If we don't, we're going to be left behind. American exporters and American workers shouldn't be punished for our dysfunctional political system.
"It's very important that this compromise includes real investment in trade adjustment assistance. Helping Americans who lose their jobs because of globalization is a question of basic fairness and it's vital to rebuilding the frayed trade consensus that's left America out of the game in recent years. While it's disappointing that some of our colleagues reacted so reflexively against the basic bargain of trade adjustment assistance out of their rigid opposition to unions, it's time again for them to realize this money doesn't go to unions, it goes to workers. It is our job to help workers who lose their jobs because of trade, and helping working people should be everyone's job in Congress.
"President Obama and Chairman Baucus should be applauded for staying at the table and driving a fair bargain, and we must all now do whatever we can to make sure this agreement moves forward without delay."