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Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2012

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. DeFAZIO. I move to strike the last word.

The Acting CHAIR. The gentleman from Oregon is recognized for 5 minutes.

Mr. DeFAZIO. The gentleman that preceded me said we lost a lawsuit. We didn't lose a lawsuit. If he knows anything about the WTO dispute resolution process, no conflict of interest, no open litigation, no legal proceeding as we in the United States of America understand it. A closed group with no conflict-of-interest rules that makes rulings. And they have decided that we, under this failed trade policy, should pay tribute, tribute, more than we paid to the Barbary pirates--$147,300,000 a year to the Government of Brazil so we can subsidize our cotton farmers.

Now, you go home and explain that to your constituents. We'll borrow $147,300,000 from China and we'll send it to Brazil so we can subsidize our cotton farmers.

What is this all about? It is about a totally failed trade policy. And at some point, this Congress has to take a stand.

Ron Paul and I, a number of years ago, 3 years ago--we get to do it once every 5 years--offered an amendment to withdraw the United States of America from the WTO. That will come up soon. I hope you'll all support it. It is something that binds us and is destroying our industries, our farmers, and everything else that's great about this country. I voted against the WTO.

This isn't about so much as a failed farm policy or farm bill, as the gentleman outlaid. It's about totally failed trade policies.

Other countries want to protect their agricultural interests. They want to feed their own people. They don't want to import polluted food from China.

We've opened up our country to polluted foods and goods from China and Brazil and everyplace else in the world with the WTO and these trade agreements. They don't observe them. We go and we lose this dispute and say, oh, we've got no choice but to pay. We have a choice. Let's not pay. We're not going to pay the tribute. We're not going to borrow the money from China. We're not going to send it to Brazil. Let's see what they do next. And maybe we can blow up this thing called the WTO and get back to something that protects our national interests.

I yield to the gentleman from Wisconsin.


Mr. DeFAZIO. I will reclaim my time to say we may have some differences over the underlying trade agreement and the mandates and the process which got us to this point, but I agree, subsidies--or bribes--on top of subsidies is insane in these tough budget times.

And I would just note that we're going to be confronted very soon with another limitation amendment on another bill where we're going to have a

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choice: We're going to abandon the American trucking industry to Mexico--which is, again, exacting tribute from the U.S., $4 billion a year worth of tariffs, to try and drive our companies south of the border to use Mexican drivers.

So time and time again these trade agreements are failing us. I think it's bigger than the problem of the subsidies in the farm bill, and this Congress needs to pay attention. One way or another, we're either going to get real about our deficits and what's really essential to the American people--feeding our people, clothing our people, and putting American people to work--or we're going to abandon ourselves to this failed notion of the WTO and other trade agreements.

Mr. Chairman, I yield back the balance of my time.


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