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Public Statements

Extending Certain Trade Programs

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. BRADY of Texas. Mr. Speaker, I join my colleagues in strongly supporting passage of this important bipartisan legislation to deepen trade ties with sub-Saharan Africa and the Central American-Dominican Republic countries and renew sanctions on Burma. As Chairman Camp pointed out, this legislation is strongly supported by America's textile industry and will help build more integrated supply chains between the United States and both Africa and Central America, maximizing the benefits of the agreements we describe as AGOA and CAFTA-DR.

These provisions support well-paying U.S. jobs and jobs in sub-Saharan Africa and Central America.

I was honored to help lead with Chairman Camp the effort to pass CAFTA-DR, and I'm pleased now to see this successful agreement be further improved through the legislation we are considering today.

This bill also extends the President's authority to continue the import ban under the 2003 Burmese Freedom and Democracy Act. I am not normally a fan of unilateral sanctions, but I believe these programs must be evaluated carefully to determine their effectiveness and implications for America's economy, and this does. I also recognize that as the sole remaining superpower, we have the responsibility to show our disapproval of rogue states and human rights abusers. The sanctions regime under the 2003 law is a model in this regard, and I can say that recent developments in Burma confirm the need for continuous evaluation.

Although the Burmese Government has taken many positive steps, these reforms must continue and grow so the citizens of Burma can gain true political and economic freedom--the goals very much at the heart of the original 2003 law. For that reason, I believe we should continue the current sanctions regime as the international community keeps a watchful eye on developments.

At the end of the day, this is a jobs bill, and a bipartisan one at that. I urge my colleagues to support this essential legislation.

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