Mr. Speaker, I would also like to note a disturbing message that this vote sends about the priorities of the Majority when it comes to international trade: they are happy to schedule votes on one-way preferences that open the U.S. market to more imports but refuse to vote on agreements that open markets to exports of American-made products and create good paying jobs for American families.
The last time the House voted on legislation that would open foreign markets for U.S. exports was November 2007 when the House passed the U.S.-Peru Trade Promotion Agreement, which opened the Peruvian market to U.S. exports and has given the United States a competitive advantage over many of our competitors in Peru.
Today’s legislation marks the sixth time since that vote that the House will vote to extend one-way preferences that open the U.S. market to imports without doing ANYTHING to spur American exports. There are three trade agreements waiting for Congress’ approval that would generate more than $11 billion in new American exports and free stimulus that will create good paying American jobs.
Congress should be acting on those agreements right now because they will provide real opportunities for economic development here and in those countries and will demonstrate America’s commitment to the security and development of the region.