WASHINGTON D.C. - U.S. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) made the following statement in advance of the second round of Trans-Pacific Partnership Talks (TPP) in San Francisco next week.
"The Trans-Pacific Partnership represents an opportunity for American businesses and workers to sell products and services to new markets, but the rules of the agreement will define whether the TPP begins a new era in fair trade policy. The terms on labor, the environment, and access to medicines for the Peru FTA agreed by Congress and the Bush administration in May 2007 were a good step towards renewing a consensus on trade, but there remains work to be done to enforce labor and environment standards under FTAs, and to amend the unjustifiable investment rules set as a model in FTAs since NAFTA.
"President Obama and Ambassador Kirk have reached out to a broader set of trade stakeholders than anyone did in the Bush administration, which is a positive change. I am looking forward to the President outlining his vision of a 21st century trade policy, and appreciate my continued discussions with the Administration on the TRADE Act.
As the Trans-Pacific Partnership continues to move towards specifics, I encourage Ambassador Kirk to maintain the consultation with stakeholders who have endured the more negative effects of NAFTA and unfair trade deals."
In March, Brown with Sens. Russell D. Feingold (D-WI), and Jeff Merkley (D-OR) wrote to U.S. Trade Representative Ronald Kirk. The Senators urged him to use trade policy as a tool to create domestic jobs while promoting economic opportunity, human rights and democratic principles among U.S. trade partners.
Brown is the author of the Trade Reform, Accountability, Development, and Employment (TRADE) Act, which would require a review of existing trade agreements, provide an opportunity to renegotiate existing trade agreements, and outline principles of what should be included in future trade agreements. The legislation also calls for the role of Congress in trade policymaking to be strengthened.