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Camp, Nunes Statements on the President’s 2014 Trade Agenda

March 04, 2014

Washington, DC – Today, Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp (R-MI) and Trade Subcommittee Chairman Devin Nunes (R-CA) released the following statements in response to the President’s 2014 Trade Agenda.

Camp: “I welcome the Administration’s focus on developing new markets for goods and services produced by U.S. manufacturers, service providers, and farmers, as well as on ensuring that our trading partners play by the rules.  In particular, I hope that we can conclude the Trans-Pacific Partnership shortly with those countries now willing, ready, and able to meet its ambitious obligations.  We must increase market access for goods, services, and agriculture products, as well as secure enforceable rules related to issues such as intellectual property protection, disciplines on state-owned enterprises, restraints on localization barriers, investor-state dispute settlement, cross-border data flows, and disciplines on sanitary and phytosanitary barriers.  In addition, the Trade in Services Agreement, the U.S.-EU trade partnership, an expansion of the Information Technology Agreement, and an agreement to reduce tariffs on environmental goods would strengthen our economy.  

“While the Agenda fails to address the problem of currency manipulation, it otherwise generally meets the objectives set in the bipartisan, bicameral Trade Priorities Act.  That legislation also provides the necessary tools to address the unfairness and distortion caused when countries manipulate their currencies to gain a trade advantage.

“TPA is my top trade priority because it opens new markets and establishes enforceable rules for our trading partners, creating new U.S. jobs and economic activity.  The President will not be able to conclude and implement any of the trade negotiations set forth in his Agenda without TPA.  That’s why I was so surprised to see TPA barely mentioned in the document.  In addition, while I welcome the transparency measures outlined in the Agenda, our bipartisan bill goes considerably further in setting out requirements for the Administration to consult with Congress and share timely and detailed information – another reason why I am seeking rapid bipartisan consideration of this bill.  TPA is necessary to set out the negotiating objectives that Congress defines as vital, establish the terms for Congressional consultations during the negotiations, and retain for Congress the final say in consideration of implementing bills after the negotiations.

“I continue to call on the President to work closely with Congress to pass the Trade Priorities Act with strong bipartisan support.  In this way, we can make the promise of an agenda more than aspirational goals but a focused and concrete reality that will benefit American workers.”  

Nunes: “While I support most of the President’s 200-page trade agenda, the document does not lay out a strategy for passing Trade Promotion Authority.  TPA is the engine that drives a robust, ambitious, and sustained trade agenda that opens new markets and enforces our rights.  If we are to achieve our shared goal of creating American jobs through trade, TPA must be enacted immediately, and I call on the President to work with us.  In the House, we will continue to provide leadership to advance an ambitious trade agenda throughout the world, in particular with Latin America, where the President’s agenda falls short in seeking new opportunities.  I look forward to working with the Administration to further these goals.”