WASHINGTON, DC—Oregon’s Senator Jeff Merkley released the following statement after the US House of Representatives vote on the Trade Adjustment Assistance program, a key part of the “fast track” trade proposal:
“When crafting a new trade structure our national objective should be raising wages and living standards for middle-class Americans. Past trade deals have consistently failed to live up to their promises and made it harder for working Americans to get ahead. Today’s House vote gives us a chance to revisit our trade policy to ensure that future trade deals do better.
“Many Americans understand that competing for jobs with workers earning rock-bottom wages in other countries hurts them and hurts our economy. We should take advantage of this opportunity to make sure that future agreements truly have meaningful, rising labor and environmental standards, and that they’re able to be enforced. That other countries have to not only put laws on the books but actually implement them before they get preferential access to our markets. That we shut down avenues for unfair competition like currency manipulation.
“Now is the time to take another look and establish a trade policy that works for working Americans.”