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Brady Honors International Trade Commission Centennial, Voices Support for Freedom to Trade

September 08, 2016

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady (R-TX) today delivered the following remarks at the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) Centennial Conference in honor of the ITC’s 100th anniversary and its invaluable work in support of free and fair trade.

Remarks as delivered:

“Throughout the hundred-year history of the Commission, you have served an invaluable role in providing Congress and the Administration with the tools needed to accomplish our trade policy goals.

“So, this morning, I first want to start by offering my sincerest gratitude to the Commission and its staff – past and present – for your commitment to excellence and your outstanding work throughout the years.

“Trade is incredibly important. It is, in my view, our greatest economic freedom. The freedom to buy and sell and compete throughout the world, with as little government interference as possible is really at the heart of our free enterprise system. 

“Fair and free trade allows individuals, families, communities, and countries to raise themselves out of poverty and into prosperity. Done right, it ensures that the entrepreneur working through the night, or with that new idea in the garage, or that medical breakthrough they’ve been working years on, has the opportunity to sell that product and make it available throughout the world. It’s the freedom for that parent to buy whatever product they choose at the price they can best afford for their family. It is critically important today, in a world where global trade has changed and impacted everyone’s life.

“It’s extremely important that America understand that the freedom to trade isn’t about China, it isn’t about Mexico, and it isn’t about Europe. It’s about America and our individual freedom to trade.

“The Commission plays an incredibly important role in the policies that we set as a Congress in this area.

“Over the past century, we’ve seen – as you know – dramatic changes to nearly every facet of global commerce. These changes have opened incredible new doors of opportunity, but they have also posed significant challenges for policymakers. 

“Specifically, in the face of an ever-shifting global economic landscape, how do we set trade policies that support competition and growth to benefit our economy?  And how do we do so in a balanced way, taking into account the positions of all U.S. companies and workers? 

“These are incredibly complex questions to answer, and it’s all but impossible without thoroughly reliable, unbiased information on the effects of our trade policies. 

“That’s where the Commission comes in. 

“Through objective analysis and impartial administration of our trade remedy laws, the ITC has – in many ways – made the impossible possible. Today, the Commission’s work is essential to the development of sound U.S. trade policy that can stand up to the challenges of the 21st century global economy. 

“That’s why, when we needed to create, for example, a Miscellaneous Tariff Bill process that is transparent, objective, and thorough, we turned to the ITC.

“And, with the Commission’s support, we will be able to deliver legislation that offers critical tariff relief to American manufacturers while also upholding the House’s earmark ban.

“Our MTB process legislation passed the House by a vote of 415-2 – a rare occasion in today’s political climate – and was signed into law in May. But, none of that would have been possible without the confidence that the ITC has earned in Congress, among both parties and both chambers.

“Over the past 100 years, the ITC and its staff have been at the center of so many outstanding accomplishments. Your work has made a truly meaningful difference in the lives of countless Americans who may not even know who the ITC is. 

“In your honor, I have submitted a statement to the Congressional Record and have ordered a flag flown over the Capitol, and I have the Congressional Record framed and here today.

“So, on behalf of the United States House of Representatives, I want to congratulate to the Commission on a century of professionalism, expertise, and excellence. Thank you for your distinguished service to our nation and to the American people.”