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Earl B.
Democrat OR 3

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  • Conference Report on H.R. 644, Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act of 2015

    by Representative Earl Blumenauer

    Posted on 2015-12-11

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    Read More about Conference Report on H.R. 644, Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act of 2015

    BLUMENAUER. Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of the bill today, which is in a much better form than the bill I opposed this summer. Yes, there are still terrible, extraneous provisions.

    Climate is the worst example, but that is actually going to be more of an embarrassment to my Republican friends in the future, that they trotted this out at a time that the rest of the world is working in Paris to try and deal with it. As a practical matter, it is not going to make that much difference.

    I disagree with my learned friend, the ranking member. There will not be a reason that we can't harmonize, for example, fuel standards. There are lots of reasons to do that. The Trans-Pacific Partnership's deforestation provisions will probably have as much impact on fighting climate change as anything that is going on in Paris.

    Peru is still troubling. I fought hard for those provisions. As recently as this week, I have been pushing on the administration to do more. It is certainly better than if we hadn't enacted those provisions before. As a matter of fact, that is why we have worked so hard to establish the trust fund.

    I appreciate the cooperation of my friend, the chairman, who has worked hard to make sure there is guaranteed funding for the next 10 years, $30 million a year, when the whole USTR budget is less than $60 million.

    These trade enforcement provisions are complex, they are expensive, they are tedious, and they are hard. It takes money to do it. This provision includes--the legislation that I worked on with Senator Cantwell--being able to make sure we can do a better job of enforcing it.

    The bill is not perfect, but it is much better than what we had this summer. It represents movement in directions that we can all take pride in. There are a number of provisions that make a huge difference for the people I represent in the Pacific Northwest as well as modernizing the Customs provisions.

    Mr. Speaker, I respectfully suggest that this is a step forward. I look forward to working with my colleagues to make sure that it is, in fact, enforced in the future so that we can get the benefits people are talking about.

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