Washington, DC – Ways and Means Ranking Member Dave Camp (R-MI) and Trade Subcommittee Ranking Member Kevin Brady (R-TX) released the following statements on House passage of legislation to extend the Andean Trade Preference Act (ATPA) and Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) programs by six weeks.
Rep. Camp: “I am pleased that Congress has ensured the continuation of the ATPA and TAA programs for the first six weeks of next year. Importantly, today’s legislation also delays a controversial U.S. Labor Department rule mandating that the states use only state ‘Employment Service’ employees to administer TAA-funded services, allowing many states to continue to use the mix of staff they think best meets their residents’ needs. However, I would rather have passed a longer-term extension of ATPA and TAA, and unfortunately, the other provisions of the House bill died in the Senate. I look forward to working in the next Congress on additional trade legislation, including enacting the trade agreements with Colombia, South Korea, and Panama.”
Rep. Brady: “I support this necessary stopgap extension of ATPA and TAA, but it is woefully insufficient. Extending these programs only for six weeks and scuttling others will mean that our job creators will soon be facing the same uncertainty they face today, hurting their ability to create jobs. By sending over to the Senate last week all of these vital trade programs before reaching an agreement with the Senate, the Majority unnecessarily complicated their extension. I look forward to working in the next Congress to provide more certainty and to bring our three pending trade agreements, including the U.S.-Colombia trade agreement, to the floor for a vote.”