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Providing for Consideration of Senate Amendment to Hr 2832, Extending the Generalized System of Preference; Providing for Consideration of HR 3078 United States-Columbia Trade Promotion Agreement Implementation Act; Providing for Consideration of HR 3079

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC

This is momentous. We're finally talking about jobs on the floor of the House of Representatives. And the United States of America is number one. Let's have a little enthusiasm. We're number one. We're number one, and we want to make certain that we continue that status.

What are we number one in? We are number one in exporting jobs to foreign lands over the last 20 years. Every day we lose 1,370 manufacturing jobs because of our failed trade policies. And guess what? These agreements are duplicates of all failed past trade agreements.

Now, the chairman of the committee says we're going to have lengthy debate, and we will dispel misinformation. Well, the first misinformation is that we're having any lengthy debate here on the floor of the House; 4 1/2 hours for three trade agreements, 270 minutes, boy, a lot of time. Not exactly like we're burning the midnight oil around here, or even working 5 days a week. Couldn't we have a little more time?

Fast Track would have allowed for 20 hours on each of the two Fast Track agreements and who knows what? So that would have been 40 hours. No, we're going to have 165 minutes by the proponents to dispel the misinformation, and 105 by those of us who are opposed to these job-killing trade agreements. That's fair, 165 on their side and 105 on our side because our arguments are honest, and theirs aren't. But that's the way things break around here. That is lengthy debate.

Let's talk for a minute about Colombia. You know, in Colombia, the average income is $3,200. Think of all the U.S. manufactured goods those Colombians are going to buy with $3,200 of income. Whoa, thousands of Americans go to work.

Does that remind you of the myth about NAFTA?

No, this is about yet one more platform to get and access abused labor, unorganized labor under Colombian law to send goods back to the United States of America.


Mr. DeFAZIO. I thank the gentleman.

And then there's the issue of, yes, we will get some more agriculture exports, insignificant to our industry, won't employ any Americans, may employ some more people who are in this country to harvest the crops.

But it will cut dramatically into the principal form of employment in Colombia. There'll be a 75 percent drop potentially in rural employment in Colombia. And where will they turn?

The noted economist Joseph Stiglitz says they will turn from traditional farming and farming for their own economy to growing coca. So not only are we going to facilitate the collapse of their agricultural economy, like we did in Mexico; we're going to facilitate the drug lords with this crummy agreement.

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