or Login to see your representatives.

Access Candidates' and Representatives' Biographies, Voting Records, Interest Group Ratings, Issue Positions, Public Statements, and Campaign Finances

Simply enter your zip code above to get to all of your candidates and representatives, or enter a name. Then, just click on the person you are interested in, and you can navigate to the categories of information we track for them.

Public Statements

America's Trade Agenda Is Critical to Economic Competitiveness

Statement

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

Senator John Kerry (D-Mass.), Chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee and senior member of the Finance Committee, today addressed the need to put aside partisan politics and support trade agreements that will advance America's global economic standing.

At a hearing in Washington held by the Senate Finance Committee to discuss President Obama's 2011 Trade Agenda, Kerry urged U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk to move forward with pending agreements and to restore benefits for trade-displaced workers that have expired.

"China recently overtook the United States as the top trading partner to Brazil and Chile, some of the fastest growing markets in the world. As our politics hold us back, the world moves on," said Sen. Kerry. "To reclaim our leadership role in the world on trade, we need to bring all three pending agreements to a conclusion by the end of this year, we need to demand fair and open markets in the Doha round of the WTO, and we need to move forward with the next generation of regional trade agreements with the Trans Pacific Partnership. And at home, to repair the frayed fabric of our social compact with working Americans, we need to restore benefits for trade-displaced workers that have expired. And we should do that immediately."

Senator Kerry's full statement as prepared is below:

Mr. Chairman, thank you for holding this hearing. Mr. Ambassador, welcome.

Let's be clear: trade is critical to American innovation and economic growth. It can and does expand opportunity for workers and entrepreneurs at home and abroad and dramatically helps to alleviate poverty in the developing world. But unfortunately, because of our broken politics, we are not just failing to lead on this critical issue -- we are falling behind.

A growing number of Asian countries are signing free trade agreements with our competitors and not with us. As a result, our producers are at a disadvantage in those markets. The Southeast Asian nations that make up ASEAN have signed a free trade agreement with China. The European Union beat us to the punch with South Korea, and at the same time, we've dropped from being Korea's top trading partner to fourth place in just four years. Canada has sealed its deal with Colombia. And China recently overtook the United States as the top trading partner to Brazil and Chile, some of the fastest growing markets in the world. As our politics hold us back, the world moves on.

To reclaim our leadership role in the world on trade, we need to bring all three pending agreements to a conclusion by the end of this year, we need to demand fair and open markets in the Doha round of the WTO, and we need to move forward with the next generation of regional trade agreements with the Trans Pacific Partnership.

And at home, to repair the frayed fabric of our social compact with working Americans, we need to restore benefits for trade-displaced workers that have expired. And we should do that immediately.

But neither trade leadership abroad nor justice for workers at home can happen as long as we continue playing political games in Congress. The fact that our trade preference programs and some of our trade adjustment assistance benefits for workers at home have expired is a tragedy in this economic environment. And the fact that we are not moving full speed ahead with the South Korea agreement because some people want to leverage it politically to move Colombia and Panama before those agreements are ready is counterproductive to restoring a broadly shared bipartisan consensus on trade and denies us the economic benefits of the South Korea agreement which every economist will tell you dwarf the other two agreements.


Source:
Back to top