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Public Statements

Extending the Generalized System of Preferences--Continued

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. McCONNELL. Mr. President, my amendment on which we are about to vote would grant to the President something no President has had since trade promotion authority expired back in 2007. Without trade promotion authority, there will be no other trade agreements. We all know that. If America wants to be the leader of the world in trade, we have to have trade agreements.

What I have done here is offered trade promotion authority--what we used to call fast-track--as an amendment to trade adjustment assistance. They have been historically linked going back to 1974. I think it is a big mistake for our country, even if we provide trade adjustment assistance, to just operate as if there are not going to be any more trade agreements in the United States. We used to be the leader in world trade.

My party does not occupy the White House. I want the President of the United States, whoever that is, to have trade promotion authority because I would like to see us have an opportunity to have trade agreements in the future. All of our competitors have taken advantage of the fact that we have not had a trade agreement for years.

These three agreements were actually negotiated by the previous administration. So if we would like for this President or the next President--because this would extend TPA to the end of 2013, so it will grant this authority to the next President, whoever that is, in addition to this President--if my colleagues think we ought to have another trade agreement sometime in the future for the United States of America, I urge them to support my amendment.

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