WASHINGTON, D.C. – In advance of U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) Ron Kirk’s “major address” on trade, U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) issued the following statement:
“Trade enforcement is part of the U.S. Trade Representative’s job. I’m pleased to hear Ambassador Kirk’s statements about focusing on certain areas of enforcement. I urge the administration to support the “Section 421” case on certain Chinese tire imports and to target China’s unfair subsidies through use of our anti-dumping and countervailing duty law.
But we should not confuse a key part of the USTR’s job – trade enforcement – with a new direction in trade policy. Our trade strategy is broken. Wrong-headed trade agreements have shipped jobs oversees and undermined our domestic manufacturing strength. Workers want President Obama to negotiate new and better trade deals. But first, we want a thorough review of our existing trade agreements program. We need to fix what is not working and build consensus on new principles for future trade agreements. American workers expect a new direction in trade. I also urged the administration to make it clear to our trading partners that strong trade enforcement is not protectionism.”
Brown is a leading proponent of fair trade. He is the author of the Trade Reform, Accountability, Development, and Employment (TRADE) Act, a first of its kind pro-trade bill that would revamp U.S. trade policy. The bill would mandate trade pact reviews, establish standards, protect workers in developing nations, and would help restore Congressional oversight of future trade agreements.