WASHINGTON — The top Republican on the House Ways and Means Committee Kevin Brady (R-TX) entered the following remarks to the Congressional record in support of legislation to extend the Caribbean Basin Trade Partnership.
Remarks as prepared for delivery:
“I want to thank Dr. Brad Wenstrup for yielding time to me, and I want to congratulate him and Ms. Sewell for their strong, bipartisan leadership on this important bill.
“I rise today in support of this legislation. The Caribbean Basin Trade Partnership creates jobs, promotes American values abroad, and incentivizes beneficiary countries to comply with the economic rule of law, bolstering their development.
“The CBTPA helps these nations grow and create opportunities for their workers, farmers, and innovators. And in return, it creates a strong market for us to sell our U.S.-produced yarn and fabrics to apparel manufacturers in the Caribbean. The program strengthens our hemispheric manufacturing integration and allows us to compete against China, whose manufacturers certainly don’t care about using U.S. inputs. As a result, we can sell our goods to more customers, keep prices here lower, and promote the spirit of free enterprise.
“The Caribbean countries are our neighbors, and we should work together to improve our region’s competitiveness.
“But we should be here today voting on two trade extensions: the Caribbean Basin Trade Partnership and the Generalized System of Preferences.
“Both of these programs have bipartisan support. Both of them are set to expire this year. And if we extend both of them today, our manufacturers, producers, and consumers would have more certainty right now.
“In the midst of a pandemic, we should be doing everything we can to offer our job creators certainty, yet Democrats are not including an extension of GSP in today’s vote.
“The GSP program reduces tariffs on thousands of products from around the world. This program saves American families money on everyday products and boosts America’s economy. And in my state of Texas, GSP brought our consumers and small businesses over $76 million in cost savings in 2018 alone.
“The remainder of the Congressional schedule until GSP expires at the end of the year is completely unpredictable. We should not leave GSP on the cutting room floor. GSP deserves to be a bipartisan priority, and I continue to urge House Democrats to act.
“I strongly support today’s bill, and I urge bipartisan passage. But we must continue to work together to get GSP’s extension across the finish line without further delay. Our American businesses cannot afford to wait.”
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