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Camp, Brady Statement on U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk’s Trade Enforcement Speech

July 16, 2009

Committee on Ways and Means Ranking Member Dave Camp (R-MI) and Kevin Brady (R-TX), Ranking Member on the Subcommittee on Trade, released the following statements concerning USTR Ron Kirk’s speech in Pittsburgh, PA:

Congressman Dave Camp stated, “Enforcing our existing trade agreements is a prerequisite for a strong U.S. trade policy – but it is not enough.  We cannot be content with simply getting by with what we have already accomplished.  As the United States delays, other countries are completing agreements that give their workers a competitive advantage over American workers.  That is why the Administration must quickly take all the necessary steps to bring about the implementation of the  pending trade agreements, as well as to develop a strategy to open more markets to our goods and services.  American workers cannot afford to fall behind their competitors.”

Congressman Kevin Brady stated, “Enforcement is important, but if we hope to create more American jobs, it is equally important to have an offensive strategy to insist that more countries open their markets to U.S. products and services.  Consumers abroad support nearly one out of every five manufacturing jobs in Pennsylvania, where Ambassador Kirk spoke today.  “Selling American” through trade agreements with Australia and Chile contributed to the 20% increase in Pittsburgh’s exports to those countries from 2005 to 2006.  “Selling American” through the Central American agreement swung the United States from a trade deficit to a trade surplus with that region.  The Administration and Democrats in Congress also must “sell American” by passing the pending trade agreements with Panama, Colombia, and South Korea through Congress and implementing them as quickly as possible.”