Representative Lee Terry (R-NE) today gave remarks to the Canadian American Business Council (CABC) at the Canadian Embassy in Washington, DC. The following are his remarks as prepared for delivery:
"It's an honor to be with you today and I want to thank you for extending to me the opportunity to talk to you about two of the most important things that I've been working on in Congress; chairing the Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing and Trade and the Keystone Pipeline.
"Unless you've been up ice fishing on Ellesmere Island for the last three months, you're aware the House passed my legislation last month, the Northern Route Approval Act that puts us one step closer to seeing the Keystone XL Pipeline become a reality.
"This pipeline is a win-win for both our countries.
"We just need to go ahead and get moving on this project. But with the needless delays, we're likely to miss another construction season. It's been over 1,700 days since the initial requests for permits were filed and over 15,000 pages of environmental reviews. This project has been the most studied pipeline in history.
"For the United States, Keystone is a game changer. It will create over 20,000 jobs for U.S. citizens in the direct construction of the pipeline and another 118,000 jobs downstream. Labor union leaders in Omaha where I'm from tell me it will create 2,000 jobs for my constituents.
"Since I came to Congress, I've worked to make the United States dependent on North American resources so we don't have to rely on OPEC nations for our energy needs.
"For both of our countries, this pipeline will strengthen our bilateral relationship. Canada is America's number one trading partner and I'm here today to tell you despite a very vocal minority, we want this pipeline built in America.
"Being open for business to Canada isn't just about building the Keystone Pipeline. As Chairman of the Commerce, Manufacturing and Trade Subcommittee, I've also been focused on manufacturing in our series of hearings titled, "Our Nation of Builders'. We have held a hearing on the manufacturing industry in general and had a showcase session featuring products made in America. We dove into the challenges facing the automotive, steel, and home building industries. These hearings have provided us with a lot of good information and feedback from large job creators.
"But, we have a lot more to do. I want to hear from more companies about how regulators can get out of the way of job creation. Our Nation of Builders gets to the heart of why we're here today -- trade. While a major focus of CMT has been on manufacturing, we do have jurisdiction over all non-tariff trade barriers. Because let's face it, our manufacturers need someone to sell their widgets to -- and yours do too.
"In order for our manufacturers to be competitive in a global market, we must be mindful of cumbersome regulations that hold back U.S. job creators.
"A U.S. President once said: "This is the moment when we must build on the wealth that open markets have created, and share its benefits more equitably. Trade has been a cornerstone of our growth and global development. But we will not be able to sustain this growth if it favors the few, and not the many.' That President was Barack Obama.
"I agree with President Obama. And, if we're to take him at his word, I'm here to tell you that we continue to be open for business with Canada and any other country that wants to do business here in America.
"Recently, I introduced bipartisan legislation meant to increase Foreign Direct Investment in the United States. When we make U.S. domestic markets welcome to foreign companies who make capital investments, we grow our economy and create jobs here at home. Keystone is a prime example of that.
"We welcome any Canadian company who seeks to do business in the U.S. As our number one trading partner, the U.S. trades $1.6 billion worth of goods everyday with Canada. In 2011, we traded over $680 billion in goods and services with Canada. That includes $337 billion worth of exports and $343 billion worth of imports. This trade relationship according to the Canadian government creates over eight million jobs here in the U.S. Specific to Nebraska, Canada was my state's number one trading partner accounting for over $2 billion economic bump last year.
"We have a lot to celebrate, because without relying on each other to buy our goods and services, our manufacturers wouldn't be competitive and prosperous. We must do what we can to prime the pump for economic growth and it begins with promoting our bilateral relationship.
"Our standards for goods are similar. Americans can trust that a product made in Canada is up to the same standards as any product made in the U.S. A good example of our symbiotic trade relationship is the auto industry. American car companies like Chevy, Ford and Chrysler all have manufacturing plants in Canada. To build these cars, they have to first get their parts from American companies.
"This creates jobs on both sides of the border and benefits both U.S. and Canadian consumers. This is the type of partnership we need to continue economic growth and it's up to groups like the Canadian American Business Council to be thought leaders to foster innovation and job creation.
"Lastly, I want to touch on the legislation I recently introduced in the House, the Global Investment in American Jobs Act. Both Republicans and Democrats have consistently reaffirmed the need to promote an open investment climate as a key to domestic economic prosperity and security. Global companies today have a wide array of choices when considering where to invest, expand, or establish new operations. In the 21st Century global economy, foreign direct investment accounts for $41 billion in research and development activities here in the United States. These companies' economic contributions include nearly 14 percent of U.S. corporate incomes taxes.
"What all this means is 5.6 million jobs for American workers which is approximately 15 percent of our manufacturing workforce.
"So to encourage this overall economic growth, Congress must consider how taxation, regulation and litigation will stifle job creation and economic growth. A successful trade partnership means hundreds of billions of dollars for both the United States and Canada and millions of jobs for our citizens.
"Our shared border must allow for continued healthy trade between our countries, and allow for its future growth."