Congressman Phil Hare (D-IL), a member of the House Trade Working Group, today released the following statement regarding introduction of the Trade Reform, Accountability, Development and Employment (TRADE) Act, legislation that establishes a clear path to reforming our broken trade policies.
"NAFTA-style trade agreements have crippled our economy, harmed workers at home and abroad, and damaged the environment.
"In 2006, the American people elected Democrats to forge a new direction on trade that protects American jobs, lifts people out of poverty, and preserves our natural resources. This legislation heeds their call.
"Proponents of unfair trade agreements with Colombia, South Korea, and Panama claim that anyone opposed to these deals is a protectionist. During the Peru debate, some even had the audacity to suggest that if we couldn't support that flawed agreement, we couldn't support any.
"This couldn't be further from the truth. I support trade. I want businesses and farmers to export their goods. But trade must be fair. Only then can American workers compete on a level playing field.
"I have long said that we must establish a trade policy that helps guide our consideration of individual agreements.
"The TRADE Act does just that. It requires a review of existing trade agreements and a renegotiation of those agreements if necessary. It sets the terms of what must be included in future trade dealsincluding strong, enforceable labor and environmental standards. It also defines what should not be in these dealssuch as incentives for outsourcing.
"The American people are sick and tired of the trade at all costs mentality that benefits multinational corporations at the expense of the most vulnerable in our society.
"I will work hard to ensure the TRADE Act becomes the law of the land and look forward to supporting future trade agreements that adhere to its core principles."