WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-Md.), a member of the Senate Finance Committee and Ranking Member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, issued the following statement on the Trade Promotion Authority voted out of the Senate Finance Committee late Wednesday evening:
“Trade presents an opportunity to advance American values and, if structured properly, truly can help create more good paying jobs here at home. American producers, manufacturers, and farmers are the most productive in the world and they can out-compete global competitors if there is a level playing field. American workers are justifiably concerned that past trade practices have tilted the playing field in favor of foreign competitors.
“The Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) bill passed by the Senate Finance Committee raises U.S. trade negotiating objectives to a new level of fairness for American workers. We affirmed that internationally recognized standards for labor rights, protecting the environment, and anti-corruption measures are essential in any agreements. I believe President Obama is committed to accomplishing these objectives in the trade agreements being negotiated. He is fighting for American workers. For these reasons, I voted to advance this bill to the full Senate, but I do hope we can make more improvements as debate continues on the floor. I do not want to diminish the important work that this Committee has done, but I am disappointed that several suggestions made to further strengthen enforcement of anti-corruption and human rights were not included in the Committee’s recommended TPA bill. I will withhold judgment on final passage until after the full debate and amendment process concludes.”