Congressman Brad Sherman, the Ranking Member of the House Foreign Affairs subcommittee on trade, released the following statement today on the Bipartisan Congressional Trade Priorities Act of 2014, legislation introduced on January 9th, 2014, by Senate Finance Committee Chairman Baucus and Ranking Member Hatch as well as House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Camp:
"I am opposed to the so-called Bipartisan Congressional Trade Priorities Act of 2014, legislation introduced in the House and Senate last week, also known as the Camp-Baucus Fast Track bill. Like previous Fast Track provisions passed into law, the bill effectively deprives Congress of its trade oversight role over the Executive Branch and requires an up or down vote for passage on the final implementing bills without amendments. I note that the bill does not have a House Democratic cosponsor.
"The Trans-Pacific Partnership between the U.S. and 11 other Pacific Rim countries -- one of the largest free trade agreements ever negotiated -- goes far beyond tariffs and market access.
"There are many aspects of the TPP that deeply concern me, including the risk of major job loss in America, an expanding U.S. trade deficit, as well as serious challenges to Buy American provisions, food safety, environmental protection, and intellectual property rights.
"The TPP would not require major changes from countries that have poor labor records and commit major human rights abuses, particularly Vietnam. Further, currency manipulation, a major contributor to the global U.S. trade deficit, is not adequately addressed by the TPP agreement.
"In particular, I am deeply concerned about the effect TPP may have on our trade balances with Japan and Vietnam.
"I have opposed NAFTA, CAFTA, KORUS, MFN for China, and a host of other trade deals we have adopted over the last two decades. These trade deals were sold on the premise that they would expand U.S. job growth and boost American exports; however, these trade agreements contributed to a massive U.S. global trade deficit and enormous losses in U.S. jobs, especially in the manufacturing sector.
"We were told that the U.S.-Korea FTA (KORUS) would benefit U.S. businesses and boost job growth, but instead imports from Korea steadily increased while U.S. exports to Korea have remained stagnant, and even fallen in some months, since the implementation of KORUS in March 2012."