|00:00:00||OF 1979, RONALD REAGAN ANNOUNCED HIS CANDIDACY FOR PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES.|
|00:00:06||AND IN THAT SPEECH HE SAW AN ACCORD OF FREE TRADE AMONG THE AMERICAS.|
|00:00:12||HE WANTED TO ELIMINATE ALL BARRIERS FOR THE FREE FLOW OF GOODS, SERVICES AND PRODUCTS AMONG ALL OF THE COUNTRIES IN THIS HEMISPHERE.|
|00:00:24||ON OCTOBER 3 OF 2011, PRESIDENT OBAMA SENT THREE TRADE AGREEMENTS TO CAPITOL HILL FOR CONSIDERATION.|
|00:00:34||IT'S BEEN A LONG TIME -- I MEAN 32 YEARS, I GUESS THIS COMING NOVEMBER 6, WHICH WE WILL MARK THE ANNIVERSARY OF PRESIDENT REAGAN ANNOUNCING HIS CANDIDACY FOR THE PRESIDENCY WHICH HE SAW THIS ACCORD AND BEEN A DIFFICULT STRUGGLE TO GET HERE, BUT, MR.|
|00:00:56||SPEAKER, TODAY MARKS THE FIRST STEP IN THIS LAST LEG OF WHAT, AS I SAID, HAS BEEN AN EXTRAORDINARILY LENGTHY JOURNEY TOWARDS PASSAGE OF OUR THREE FREE TRADE AGREEMENTS WITH COLOMBIA, PANAMA AND SOUTH KOREA.|
|00:01:13||FOR FOUR YEARS, WORKERS AND CONSUMERS IN THE UNITED STATES AND IN ALL THREE F.|
|00:01:21||T.A. COUNTRIES HAVE WAITED FOR THE OPPORTUNITIES THAT THESE THREE AGREEMENTS WILL CREATE.|
|00:01:26||REPUBLICANS AND DEMOCRATS ALIKE AND LET ME UNDERSCORE, REPUBLICANS AND DEMOCRATS ALIKE HAVE WORKED VERY HARD TO BRING US TO THIS POINT.|
|00:01:35||WE HAVE DONE SO FIRST AND FOREMOST FOR THE SAKE OF JOB CREATION AND ECONOMIC GROWTH.|
|00:01:42||WE ARE REGULARLY HEARING DISCUSSION ON BOTH SIDES OF THE AISLE ABOUT THE IMPERATIVE OF CREATING JOBS AND GETTING OUR ECONOMY ON TRACK.|
|00:01:51||THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES DELIVERED A SPEECH HERE TO A JOINT SESSION OF CONGRESS IN WHICH HE TALKED ABOUT THE NEED TO PASS HIS JOBS BILL.|
|00:02:01||SPEAKER, THIS IS A VERY IMPORTANT COMPONENT OF THAT PROPOSAL THAT THE PRESIDENT TALKED ABOUT WHEN HE WAS HERE.|
|00:02:07||AS I HEAR A GREAT DEAL OF DISCUSSION ABOUT LACK OF WILLINGNESS ON CAPITOL HILL TO ADDRESS THE PRESIDENT'S JOBS BILL, IT'S NOT AN ALL OR NOTHING THING.|
|00:02:20||WE ARE TAKING THE IMPORTANT COMPONENTS THAT THE PRESIDENT IS PROPOSED TO ADDRESSING AND WE HAVE WORKED IN A BIPARTISAN WAY AND THIS MEASURE BEFORE US IS EVIDENCE OF THAT.|
|00:02:29||WE'VE DONE, AS I SAID, PASSAGE OF THESE AGREEMENTS WILL ALLOW US TO HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY TO CREATE GOOD JOBS FOR UNION AND NON-UNION AMERICANS, WHO ARE SEEKING JOB OPPORTUNITIES.|
|00:02:46||SPEAKER, THESE AGREEMENTS, THESE AGREEMENTS WILL GIVE U.|
|00:02:50||S. WORKERS, BUSINESSES, FARMERS ACCESS TO $2 TRILLION, $2 TRILLION OF ECONOMIC ACTIVITY AND WE WILL, MR.|
|00:03:00||SPEAKER, OUR WORKERS, UNION WORKERS AND NON-UNION WORKERS, PEOPLE ACROSS THIS COUNTRY, WILL HAVE ACCESS TO 97 MILLION CONSUMERS IN THESE THREE COUNTRIES.|
|00:03:13||NOW, PRESIDENT OBAMA IN HIS ADDRESS HERE MADE IT VERY CLEAR AND HAS SAID IT REPEATEDLY THE INDEPENDENT INTERNATIONAL TRADE COMMISSION HAS SAID THAT IN THE COMING MONTHS, WE WILL ADD A QUARTER OF A MILLION NEW JOBS RIGHT HERE IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.|
|00:03:33||AGAIN, UNION AND NON-UNION JOBS AND INDEPENDENT INTERNATIONAL TRADE COMMISSION HAS PROJECTED WE WILL SEE A QUARTER OF A MILLION, 250,000 NEW JOBS FOR OUR FELLOW AMERICANS SEEKING JOB OPPORTUNITIES.|
|00:03:50||JON TO EXPLAIN TO ANYONE IN THIS PLACE WHY THIS IS SO CRITICAL FOR OUR AILING ECONOMY.|
|00:03:56||BUT THOSE OF US WHO HAVE JOINED TOGETHER TO FINALLY PASS THESE AGREEMENTS ARE WORKING TOWARDS SOMETHING THAT IS EVEN BIGGER.|
|00:04:04||WE ARE WORKING TO RESTORE THE BIPARTISAN CONSENSUS ON THE ISSUE OF OPEN TRADE.|
|00:04:10||MR. SPEAKER, ERADICATING PARTISAN POLITICS ON THE DEBATE OF ECONOMIC GLOBALIZATION IS ESSENTIAL TO MOVE OUR QUEST FORWARD.|
|00:04:24||THESE THREE AGREEMENTS ARE ENORMOUSLY IMPORTANT, BUT, MR.|
|00:04:27||SPEAKER, AS YOU KNOW, THERE IS STILL MUCH WORK THAT REMAINS TO BE DONE.|
|00:04:32||I UNDERSTAND THAT THE OPPONENTS OF ECONOMIC LIABLE RALIZATION ARE VERY WELL INEXTENSION TENSIONED AND I DON'T FAULT FL.|
|00:04:41||WE ARE IN THE MIDST AS WE ALL KNOW VERY WELL, DEEPLY TROUBLING ECONOMIC TIMES.|
|00:04:48||AND IT'S EASY AND WE WANT TO POINT THE FINGER OF BLAME AND TRADE IS A NATURAL TARGET.|
|00:04:55||I OFTEN ARGUE THAT I HAVE CONSTITUENTS IN SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA WHEN THEY GET A HANGNAIL THEY BLAME NORTH AMERICAN FREE TRADE AGREEMENT ON THAT HANGNAIL.|
|00:05:08||THIS IS A NATURAL TARGET FOR FRUSTRATION.|
|00:05:12||AND I KNOW THERE ARE PEOPLE WHO BELIEVE THAT PASSAGE OF THESE TRADE AGREEMENTS, WHICH ACCORDING TO THE I.|
|00:05:19||T.C. WOULD CREATE 250,000 NEW JOBS RIGHT HERE IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.|
|00:05:29||. . TRADE IS THE WRONG ARGUMENT, MR.|
|00:05:32||SPEAKER. THE WORLDWIDE MARKETPLACE, AS WE ALL KNOW, IS A BIG, DYNAMIC AND COMPLEX OPERATION.|
|00:05:38||IT OFFERS TREMENDOUS OPPORTUNITY FOR THOSE WHO ENGAGE IN TREMENDOUS PERIL FOR THOSE WHO FOLLOW THE ISOLATIONIST PATH.|
|00:05:48||THOSE WHO INNOVATE, WHO AGGRESSIVELY PURSUE NEW IDEAS AND NEW OPPORTUNITIES ARE ABLE TO COMPETE AND SUCCEED.|
|00:05:59||S. HAS PROVEN THIS, MR.|
|00:06:00||SPEAKER, TIME AND TIME AGAIN.|
|00:06:04||THE AMERICAN ENTREPRENEURIAL SPIRIT HAS ENABLED US TO NOT JUST SUCCEED BUT AS WE ALL KNOW WE ARE THE LARGEST, MOST DYNAMIC ECONOMY ON THE FACE OF THE EARTH.|
|00:06:14||THESE AGREEMENTS WILL ALLOWS US TO REAFFIRM AND STRENGTHEN THAT.|
|00:06:19||WE ALL KNOW THIS, MR.|
|00:06:21||SPEAKER, OUR COUNTRY, THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, IS THE BIRTHPLACE OF GOOGLE AND FACEBOOK, OF FORD AND I.|
|00:06:28||B.M., OF CATERPILLAR AND WHIRLPOOL AND OF COCA-COLA AND EBAY.|
|00:06:37||UNFORTUNATELY OVER THE LAST SEVERAL YEARS WHILE THE THREE FREE TRADE AGREEMENTS HAVE LANGE WISHED, THE UNITED STATES OF -- LANGUISHED, THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA HAS STOOD STILL.|
|00:06:54||WE HAVE LET OUR COMPETITORS TO CHIP AWAY AT OUR MARKET SHARE.|
|00:06:57||IF WE COMPETE, MR.|
|00:06:59||SPEAKER, IF WE COMPETE THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA WINS.|
|00:07:03||IF WE COMPETE WE WIN.|
|00:07:05||BUT WHAT HAPPENS WHEN WE TAKE OURSELVES OUT OF THE GAME, WHICH HAS BEEN THE CASE FOR THE LAST SEVERAL YEARS?|
|00:07:11||WE'VE LITERALLY TAKEN OURSELVES OUT OF THE GAME OF BREAKING DOWN BARRIERS, ALLOWING FOR THE FREE FLOW OF GOODS AND SERVICES AND CAPITAL.|
|00:07:22||WE LOSE JOBS.|
|00:07:23||WE LOSE MARKET CHAIR AND, MR.|
|00:07:26||SPEAKER, WE LOSE OUR COMPETITIVE EDGE.|
|00:07:29||NOW, I'M NOT GOING TO SAY WE WOULD NOT HAVE GONE THROUGH THE TERRIBLE ECONOMIC DOWNTURN THAT WE'VE SUFFERED OVER THE PAST FEW YEARS IF WE HAD SEVERAL YEARS AGO PASSED THESE FREEGGET -- FREE TRADE AGREEMENTS.|
|00:07:47||IF WE STEPPED UP TO THE PLATE WHEN THE NEGOTIATIONS BEGAN, MR.|
|00:07:54||SPEAKER, BACK IN 2004 FOR THESE AGREEMENTS, IF WE STEPPED UP TO THE PLATE I THINK WE WOULD HAVE MITIGATED THE PAIN AND SUFFERING THE AMERICANS ARE GOING THROUGH THE AILING ECONOMY THAT WE HAVE.|
|00:08:08||GETTING OUR ECONOMY BACK ON TRACK AND REASSERTING OUR AMERICAN LEADERSHIP ROLE IN THE WORLDWIDE MARKETPLACE WILL REQUIRE FAR MORE THAN SIMPLY PACIFIC THESE FREE TRADE AGREEMENTS.|
|00:08:22||-- PASSING THESE FREE TRADE AGREEMENTS.|
|00:08:25||MR. SPEAKER, IT'S A KEY AND VERY IMPORTANT STEP.|
|00:08:27||THE AGREEMENTS WILL OPEN NEW MARKETS FOR, AS I SAID, WORKERS AND JOB CREATORS IN THE UNITED STATES.|
|00:08:35||AND PERHAPS EVEN MORE IMPORTANT, IT WILL SEND A SIGNAL TO THE WORLD THAT THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA IS BACK, OPEN FOR BUSINESS.|
|00:08:44||WE ARE ONCE AGAIN CHOOSING TO SHAPE -- THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA IS ONCE AGAIN CHOOSING TO SHAPE THE GLOBAL MARKETPLACE RATHER THAN TO ALLOW OURSELVES TO BE SHAPED BY IT.|
|00:08:57||BECAUSE, MR. SPEAKER, IF WE DON'T SHAPE THE GLOBAL MARKETPLACE, WE WILL CONTINUE TO BE SHAPED BY THAT GLOBAL MARKETPLACE.|
|00:09:05||WE WILL ALSO SEND THE VERY POWERFUL MESSAGE TO OUR ALLIES THAT THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA IS LIVING UP TOTH COMMITMENTS.|
|00:09:16||YOU KNOW, MR.|
|00:09:17||SPEAKER, IT IS UTTERLY SHAMEFUL, UTTERLY SHAMEFUL THAT WE HAVE FORCED THREE CLOSE FRIENDS OF THE UNITED STATES, TWO OF OUR OWN NEIGHBORS RIGHT HERE IN THE AMERICAS AND ONE IN AN EXTRAORDINARILY STRATEGIC REGION TO WAIT FOR FOUR LONG YEARS.|
|00:09:44||OUR FRIENDS AND ALLIES WHO NEGOTIATED WITH US TO WAIT AS LONG AS THEY HAVE.|
|00:09:50||MR. SPEAKER, ONE OF THE THINGS WE OBSERVED IS THAT THE WORLD HAS TAKEN NOTE.|
|00:09:55||OUR WOULD-BE NEGOTIATORS, NOT ONLY ON TRADE AGREEMENTS BUT ON OTHER ISSUES AS WELL, OUR WOULD-BE TRADE PARTNERS AND NEGOTIATING PARTNERS, AS I SAID, ON ISSUES BEYOND TRADE HAVE TAKEN NOTE.|
|00:10:08||I DON'T BELIEVE THAT OUR CREDIBILITY WILL BE IMMEDIATELY RESTORED WITH THE PASSAGE OF THESE FREE TRADE AGREEMENTS.|
|00:10:17||SPEAKER, WE WILL AT LEAST BEGIN THE PROCESS, WE'LL BEGIN THE PROCESS OF DEMONSTRATING CREDIBILITY ON THE PART OF THE UNITED STATES.|
|00:10:28||WE WILL SIGNAL THAT THE U.|
|00:10:30||S. IS RECOMMITTING ITSELF TO ITS PARTNERSHIPS THAT OUR WORD AT THE NEGOTIATING TABLE CAN BE TRUSTED.|
|00:10:38||VERY SADLY OVER THE PAST SEVERAL YEARS OUR PARTNERS COULD COME TO NO OTHER CONCLUSION OTHER THAN OUR WORD CANNOT BE TRUSTED AT THE NEGOTIATING TABLE BECAUSE OF ACTION TAKEN A FEW YEARS AGO REJECTING AN OPPORTUNITY FOR CONSIDERATION OF THESE AGREEMENTS.|
|00:10:58||MR. SPEAKER, THIS RULE PUTS IN PLACE A LENGTHY DEBATE PROCESS DURING WHICH THE TREMENDOUS ECONOMIC AND GEOPOLITICAL BENEFITS OF THESE THREE TRADE AGREEMENTS WILL BE DISCUSSED AND THE MISINFORMATION, THE MISINFORMATION SURROUNDING THESE AGREEMENTS WILL BE ABLE TO BE REFUTED.|
|00:11:15||THAT'S WHY I THINK THIS IS A VERY IMPORTANT DEBATE.|
|00:11:19||IT'S VITALLY IMPORTANT THAT WE HAVE THIS DEBATE SO THAT THE FACTS CAN GET ON THE TABLE AND THE ABILITY TO REFUTE SPECIOUS ARGUMENTS CAN BE PUT FORWARD AND THAT'S WHAT'S GOING TO HAPPEN THIS EVENING AND TOMORROW LEADING UP TO THE VOTES THAT WE ARE GOING TO CAST.|
|00:11:39||THIS RULE PROVIDES, ALSO, FOR THE CONSIDERATION OF TRADE ADJUSTMENT ASSISTANCE, A MODEST PROGRAM THAT HAS HELPED TO BUILD THAT BIPARTISAN CONSENSUS THAT I'VE BEEN TALKING ABOUT AND I BELIEVE IS ESSENTIAL TO OUR ECONOMIC RECOVERY.|
|00:11:55||NOW, I DON'T BELIEVE THAT THE T.|
|00:11:59||A. PROGRAM IS PERFECT -- T.|
|00:12:01||A.A. PROGRAM IS PERFECT.|
|00:12:02||MEANINGFUL REFORMS HAVE BEEN INCORPORATED.|
|00:12:04||AND MOST IMPORTANT, MOST IMPORTANT, MR.|
|00:12:07||SPEAKER, THE PASSAGE OF TRADE ADJUSTMENT ASSISTANCE WILL IN TURN HELP US NOT JUST PASS THE F.|
|00:12:15||T.A.'S BUT IT WILL HELP US MAINTAIN WHAT I HAVE HAD AS A GOAL GOING BACK TWO DECADES AGO WHEN WE PUT TOGETHER A TRADE WORKING GROUP THAT HAS HAD BIPARTISAN PARTICIPATION.|
|00:12:28||IT WILL ALLOW US TO WHERE HE BUILD THE BIPARTISAN CONSENSUS THAT I THINK IS SO IMPORTANT.|
|00:12:33||MR. SPEAKER, THAT WILL SEND A POWERFUL MESSAGE TO THE MARKETS, TO JOB CREATORS, TO WORKERS IN THIS COUNTRY, TO AMERICANS WHO ARE SEEKING JOB OPPORTUNITIES AND IT WILL SEND A VERY IMPORTANT MESSAGE TO OUR ALLIES AND WE HOPE FUTURE ALLIES THROUGHOUT THIS WORLD.|
|00:12:56||SPEAKER, I URGE MY COLLEAGUES TO COME TOGETHER IN A STRONG BIPARTISAN WAY AND SUPPORT THE RULE THAT WILL ALLOW US TO HAVE A VERY, VERY RIGOROUS DEBATE AND THE UNDERLYING AGREEMENTS AND TRADE ADJUSTMENT ASSISTANCE.|
|00:13:11||AND WITH THAT I RESERVE THE BALANCE|
Mr. DREIER. On November 6 of 1979, Ronald Reagan announced his candidacy for President of the United States. In that speech, he envisaged an accord of free trade among the Americas. He wanted to eliminate all barriers for the free flow of goods and services and products among all of the countries in this hemisphere.
On October 3 of 2011, President Obama sent three trade agreements to Capitol Hill for consideration. It has been a long time. I mean, 32 years, I guess, this coming November 6 we will mark the anniversary of President Reagan announcing his candidacy for the Presidency and of which he envisaged this accord.
It has been a very, very difficult struggle to get here; but, Mr. Speaker, today marks the first step in this last leg of what, as I said, has been an extraordinarily lengthy journey towards the passage of our three free trade agreements with Colombia, Panama, and South Korea.
For 4 years, workers and consumers in the United States and in all three FTA countries have waited for the opportunities that these agreements will create. Republicans and Democrats alike--and let me underscore that again. Republicans and Democrats alike have worked very hard to bring us to this point. We have done so, first and foremost, for the sake of job creation and economic growth.
We're regularly hearing discussion on both sides of the aisle about the imperative of creating jobs and getting our economy on track. The President of the United States delivered a speech here to a joint session of Congress in which he talked about the need to pass his jobs bill. Mr. Speaker, this is a very important component of that proposal that the President talked about when he was here. So, as I hear a great deal of discussion about a lack of willingness on Capitol Hill to address the President's jobs bill, it's not an ``all or nothing'' thing. We are taking the very, very important components that the President has proposed addressing. We've worked in a bipartisan way, and this measure before us is evidence of that.
As I said, the passage of these agreements will allow us to have an opportunity to create good jobs for union and nonunion Americans who are seeking job opportunities. Together, these agreements will give U.S. workers, businesses, farmers access to $2 trillion of economic activity; and our union and nonunion workers, our farmers and people across this country will have access to 97 million consumers in these three countries. [Page: H6711] President Obama, in his address here, made it very clear and has said repeatedly that the independent International Trade Commission has said that, in the coming months, we will add a quarter of a million new jobs right here in the United States of America--again, union and nonunion jobs. The independent International Trade Commission has projected that we will see a quarter of a million--250,000--new jobs for our fellow Americans seeking job opportunities.
I don't need to explain to anyone in this place why this is so critical for our ailing economy, but those of us who have joined together to finally pass these agreements are working towards something that is even bigger. We are working to restore the bipartisan consensus on the issue of open trade. Eradicating partisan politics from the debate on global economic liberalization and returning to a bipartisan consensus is essential in our quest to move our economy forward. These three agreements are enormously important; but, Mr. Speaker, as you know very well, there is still much work that remains to be done.
Now, I understand that the opponents of economic liberalization are very well-intentioned, and I don't fault them. I will say that, as we all know very well, we're in the midst of deeply troubling economic times. It's easy. We all want to look somewhere to point the finger of blame, and trade is a natural target. I mean, I often argue that I still have constituents in southern California who, when they get a hangnail, blame the North American Free Trade Agreement.
[Time: 17:30] Trade is a natural target for frustration and anxiety, and we've seen that time and time again. And I know that there are people who believe that passage of these trade agreements which, according to the ITC, would create 250,000 new jobs right here in the United States of America, is, in fact, a bad thing. Trade is the wrong target, Mr. Speaker.
The worldwide marketplace, as we all know, is a big, dynamic, and complex operation. It offers tremendous opportunity for those who engage and tremendous peril for those who follow the isolationist path. Those who innovate, who aggressively pursue new ideas and new opportunities are able to compete and succeed. The U.S. has proven this time and time again. The American entrepreneurial spirit has enabled us to not just succeed, but, as we all know, we are the largest, most dynamic economy on the face of the Earth. These agreements will allow us to reaffirm and strengthen that.
We all know this, Mr. Speaker: Our country, the United States of America, is the birthplace of Google and Facebook, of Ford and IBM, of Caterpillar and Whirlpool, and of Coca-Cola and eBay. Unfortunately, over the last several years, while the three free trade agreements have languished, the United States of America has stood still. We've let countless opportunities pass us by. We've let our competitors chip away at our market share. If we compete, the United States of America wins. If we compete, we win.
But what happens when we take ourselves out of the game, which has been the case for the last several years? We've literally taken ourselves out of the game of breaking down barriers, allowing for the free flow of goods and services and capital. What happens? We lose jobs. We lose market share, and we lose our competitive edge.
Now, I'm not going to say that we would not have gone through the terrible economic downturn that we've suffered over the past few years if we had, several years ago, passed these trade agreements. Negotiations began back in 2004 for these agreements. If we had stepped up to the plate, I am absolutely convinced that we would have mitigated the pain and suffering that our fellow Americans are going through with this ailing economy that we have.
Getting our economy back on track and reasserting our American leadership role in the worldwide marketplace will require far more than simply passing these free trade agreements, but it's a key and very important step. The agreements will open new markets for workers and job creators here in the United States; and perhaps even more important, it will send a signal to the world that the United States of America is back open for business.
The United States of America is once again choosing to shape the global marketplace rather than to allow ourselves to be shaped by it. Because, Mr. Speaker, if we don't shape the global marketplace, we will continue to be shaped by that global marketplace. We will also send a very powerful message to our allies that the United States of America is living up to its commitments.
Now, Mr. Speaker, it is utterly shameful that we have forced three close friends of the United States--two of our own neighbors right here in the Americas and one in an extraordinarily strategic region--to wait for 4 long years. It is shameful that we have forced these friends and allies, who negotiated in good faith with us for these agreements, to wait as long as they have.
One of the things we've observed is that the world has taken note. Our would-be negotiators--not only on trade agreements but on other issues as well--our would-be trade partners and negotiating partners, as I said, on issues beyond trade have taken note.
I don't believe that our credibility will be immediately restored with the passage of these free trade agreements, but we will at least begin the process. We will begin the process of demonstrating credibility on the part of the United States. We will signal that the U.S. is recommitting itself to its partnerships, that our word at the negotiating table can be trusted.
Very sadly, over the past several years, our partners could come to no other conclusion than that our word cannot be trusted at the negotiating table because of action that was taken here a few years ago, rejecting an opportunity for consideration of these agreements.
Mr. Speaker, this rule puts in place a lengthy debate process, during which the tremendous economic and geopolitical benefits of these three trade agreements will be discussed, and the misinformation surrounding these agreements will be able to be refuted. That's why I think this is a very important debate. It's vitally important that we have this debate so that the facts can get on the table and the ability to refute specious arguments can be put forward. And that's what's going to happen this evening and tomorrow leading up to the votes that we are going to cast.
This rule provides also for the consideration of Trade Adjustment Assistance, a modest program that has helped to build that bipartisan consensus that I have been talking about and I believe is essential to our economic recovery. Now, I don't believe that the TAA program is perfect. Meaningful reforms have been incorporated. And most important, Mr. Speaker, the passage of Trade Adjustment Assistance will, in turn, help us not just pass the FTAs, but it will help us maintain what I have had as a goal going back two decades ago when we put together a trade working group that has had bipartisan participation. It will allow us to rebuild the bipartisan consensus that I think is so important. That will send a powerful message to the markets, to job creators, to workers in this country, to Americans who are seeking job opportunities, and it will send a very important message to our allies and we hope future allies throughout this world.
So, Mr. Speaker, I urge my colleagues to come together in a strong bipartisan way and support the rule that will allow us to have a very, very rigorous debate on the underlying agreements and Trade Adjustment Assistance.
With that, I reserve the balance of my time.