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United States-Peru Trade Promotion Agreement Implementation Act

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC



Mr. MATHESON. I thank the chairman for yielding and I also commend Chairman Rangel for his work on this agreement. I think it represents a great step forward on the trade agenda.

Mr. Speaker, I think that it's human nature to have difficulty accepting change. Change can be traumatic, and we are in a world that's changing. In a globalized world where technology is taking us to new places, this flatter world that Tom Friedman talked about in his book, that's a change. The question is, do you stick your head in the sand and ignore change, or do you embrace change and try to take advantage of it?

That's the fundamental issue I think we ought to be talking about in terms of engaging the rest of the world, engaging the rest of the world in economic opportunity in a changing world. Mind you, globalization is a mixed bag, and there are positives and negatives that come out of it, but the question is, as a country, do we want to try to embrace that opportunity?

This agreement represents a wonderful step in embracing that type of opportunity for this country. Beyond the economic benefits, which a lot of speakers have talked about today, there are also the benefits of relationships with these other countries. The eight living former Secretaries of State have all encouraged Congress, in fact, urged Congress to move ahead with this agreement, to build better ties with the country of Peru, a good democratic friend in a region of the world where there are some unsettled countries. This is good policy in terms of how we have those relationships in South America.

I encourage my colleagues to step away a bit from some of the rhetoric, as with many issues, that comes out that is not necessarily accurate. I encourage my colleagues to look at the substance of this agreement and see how Chairman Rangel has made such progress in coming up with a responsible new agenda for trade with this Democratic majority.

As I started, I will close the same way, I commend the chairman, he has stepped up to the plate in a substantive way. He is moving forward.

I urge passage of the Peru FTA.


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