Congressman Robert Aderholt (AL-04) today released the following statement after the House passed the extension of the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) and trade agreements between the United States and Colombia, Panama and Korea.
"This is a global economy and there has to be a market for Alabama goods such as beef, chicken and agriculture products," said Aderholt. "However trade agreements only work if it is equally beneficial to both countries. And lately it seems that the biggest export for the United States has been jobs in the manufacturing and textile industries. Therefore, I voted against the Korean Free Trade Agreement, due to the possibility of even more of these jobs could be sent overseas."
"In addition, with the extension of the Generalized System of Preferences in its current form, American sleeping bag manufacturers, like Exxel Outdoors, are now facing a grim reality of whether they can afford to do business within the United States. GSP was designed to be a mutually beneficial agreement between the US and friendly developing nations that would provide lower costs to American operations but also protect our import sensitive industries. However a loophole is hurting American sleeping bag manufacturers like Exxel Outdoors and compelled me to vote no on this provision."
"The extension passed today, was passed without addressing GSP's current flaw and the result of this inaction could mean another 100 plus people could be standing in the unemployment line in North Alabama, a region that has been devastated by natural disaster and is already facing an unemployment rate of over 15 percent."
"Companies like Exxel Outdoors that have fought to bring overseas jobs, back to the United States should be celebrated and rewarded for invigorating our nation's economy, instead with the passage of this provision they are being punished and once again those American jobs could become a thing of the past," concluded Aderholt.
Aderholt currently serves as Chairman of the Subcommittee on Homeland Security for the powerful House Appropriations Committee, is a member of the Committee's Commerce, Justice and Science; and Agriculture Subcommittees, and also serves on the Helsinki Commission.