A picture of Senator Orrin G. Hatch
Orrin H.
Republican UT

About Sen. Orrin
  • Statements on Introduced Bills and Joint Resolutions

    by Senator Orrin G. Hatch

    Posted on 2014-01-09

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    HATCH. Madam President, my friend from Montana is absolutely right. International trade is crucial to America's economy. Last year exports supported 9.8 million American jobs, including 25 percent of all manufacturing jobs.

    Jobs created through trade are good jobs. On average, U.S. plants that export overseas pay their workers up to 18 percent more than nonexporting plants. They increase employment 2 to 4 percent faster than nonexporting plants. But we can do even better.

    More than 95 percent of the world's population and 80 percent of the world's purchasing power is outside of the United States. To succeed in today's world, our farmers, ranchers, and job creators must be able to fairly access the world market.

    The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Montana.

    Mr. BAUCUS. I hope everyone listened to my good friend's words. He made very important points about statistics that I think most Americans are unaware of, and if they would think about it more, they would realize the importance of trade.

    We export so much more now. Exporting is such a large percent of our economy and offers such good-paying jobs that, frankly, I am perplexed more Americans don't want to work harder to get trade agreements passed so we can export more and get more good-paying jobs in America.

    I must say that today we have a bold plan to strengthen our trade ties with [[Page S225]] nations across the Pacific and in Europe.

    What is our goal? Our goal is to seize new export opportunities so that we can boost our economy and create jobs here at home. We all know the big to-and-fro here with unemployment insurance. The key is to have fewer people unemployed. How does that happen? More good-paying jobs.

    But there is a big first step we need to take before we can act on our trade agenda. What is that? It is Trade Promotion Authority, otherwise known as TPA.

    That is why this afternoon Senator Hatch and I introduced the Bipartisan Congressional Trade Priorities Act of 2014.

    The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Utah.

    Mr. HATCH. Our bill will help guarantee these landmark trade deals get done--and get done right.

    First, the bill updates TPA by addressing 21st century issues. What are these issues? Nonscientific barriers to U.S. agricultural products, unfair competition from state-owned enterprises, arbitrary localization barriers which require U.S. companies to turn over their intellectual property or locate facilities in a foreign country in order to access foreign markets, and unnecessary restrictions on digital trade and data which flows across borders.

    Mr. BAUCUS. That is right. Our bill also addresses critical issues such as labor, environment, and innovation and for the first time currency manipulation. Our bill addresses it.

    Senator Hatch and I worked with our good friend from the other body, the Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp, to carefully craft these negotiating objectives and ensure that Congress is a full partner in trade negotiations.

    Our bill helps lay out in clear terms what Congress's priorities are for trade. It is our opportunity to tell the administration and our partners overseas what we must see in an agreement if it is going to be approved by Congress.

    It boosts congressional oversight, increases transparency in trade negotiations, and it gives every Member of Congress the right to a strong voice in the process.

    Mr. HATCH. Madam President, I want to praise the distinguished chairman of the Ways and Means Committee over in the House. He has worked long and hard on these issues and is not only a great partner to the two of us but to every Senator.

    What the Senator from Montana just said is absolutely right. Our bill empowers Congress, but it also empowers our negotiators. Its approval will help them conclude high-standard agreements that will open new markets for U.S. exports, ultimately bringing jobs and economic growth to the United States.

    Lastly, before I turn back to the chairman, I just want to say again how critical this legislation is for our Nation and to commend my friend from Montana, the distinguished chairman of the Finance Committee, for working to make Trade Promotion Authority a reality. He has always been a tremendous leader on international trade, and I am glad to stand by his side to ensure that the Finance Committee and the Senate considers this job-creating legislation in a fair, thorough, and expeditious manner.

    Mr. BAUCUS. Madam President, I thank very much my good friend from Utah. As President Kennedy said 52 years ago, this is about working with our trade partners to build strength together. It is about maintaining U.S. preeminence. That is why TPA is so important--because it makes our job-creating trade agenda work, and it helps to secure our future.

    I yield the floor.

    The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Ohio.

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