WASHINGTON, DC — Today, House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) delivered the following floor statement in support of H.R. 1295, the Trade Preferences Extension Act.
“Mr. Speaker, people on both sides of the aisle have been working for years to promote American trade. We took the big step when we passed TPA last week, and sent it to the president yesterday.
“Passing TPA is an achievement this Congress should be very proud of. It will empower Congress in trade negotiations. It will help us get the best possible trade agreements for American workers. And it will tell the world that the United States is still willing and able to lead.
“I especially want to thank my colleagues in the House, like Congressman Kind, for their leadership on this issue. I also want to thank our friends in the Senate, like Senator Hatch and Senator Wyden.
“But to pass TPA, we needed a little bit of trust. We promised our Democratic friends that if they stand with us TPA, we’ll follow through with this bill before us today. And so we’re here today to keep our word.
“There are three parts—each with bipartisan support. First, we reauthorize the Trade Adjustment Assistance program or TAA. This program helps workers whose jobs have moved elsewhere to find new opportunities through training. Traditionally, we’ve reauthorized TPA and TAA together. That’s what we’re doing here. And we’ve made some improvements to the program.
“Second, we reauthorize a number of trade preferences for developing countries. This bill reauthorizes a number of programs with broad, bipartisan support: AGOA, GSP, and Haiti HOPE. These programs lower trade barriers between our country and developing countries. They strengthen our trading ties. Because when we grow, they grow. And therefore we both have every incentive to work together.
“And third, we make sure our companies can use our trade remedy laws to address unfair trade practices. So I urge all my colleagues to support this bill. All of this legislation will strengthen the American economy. It will strengthen American credibility on the world stage. And it will strengthen American leadership.”