Congressman Patrick McHenry (NC-10) issued the following remarks Wednesday after a series of trade-related votes on the House floor. Among the measures considered, he voted to extend the Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) program for three years, as well as to oppose the U.S.-South Korea Free Trade Agreement (KORUS).
For workers who see their jobs sent overseas, TAA provides training and support to help them transition to new employment. A long-time supporter of TAA, Congressman McHenry has often broken with his own party to vote for extending the program which heavily impacts the 10th District.
"TAA is a critically important program for Western North Carolina. Our region has been hit hard by the effects of bad trade deals, and I remain committed to making sure our workers have the tools, training, and resources they need to get back on their feet and start new careers," said Congressman McHenry.
This measure to reauthorize the TAA program is contained in a Senate amendment to HR 2832, which passed in the House today by a vote of 307 to 122.
In a separate vote today on the House floor, Congressman McHenry opposed the U.S.-South Korea Free Trade Agreement (KORUS).
"Bad trade deals like this one are the reason we have the TAA program. They have already placed a huge burden on North Carolina textile workers -- and this deal stands only to make things worse.
"We should be entering trade agreements that favor American manufacturing by leveling the playing field. This deal provides little opportunity for American textile products to be exported to South Korea, while providing a wealth of opportunity for the South Korean textile industry to export to the US. I made a promise to my constituents that I would fight against trade deals like this one that fails to protect Western North Carolina workers. This flawed agreement will result in the continued outsourcing of valuable textile, apparel and other manufacturing jobs, and I voted "no.'"
KORUS passed in the House today by a vote of 278 to 151. The U.S.-Colombia and U.S.-Panama Free Trade Agreements passed the House on Wednesday, as well.