Sen. Tim Kaine comments on Senate vote on fast-track trade legislation

tim kaine-newFollowing the Senate’s votes to pass key customs enforcement legislation and trade preferences for developing economies today, U.S. Senator Tim Kaine released a statement on his vote to advance the bipartisan fast-track Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) and Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) legislation:

“We all agree that trade, under the right conditions and with strong enforcement measures in place, benefits our economy. I refused to allow consideration of trade legislation until the Senate passed strong enforcement measures. With these enforcement provisions, I’m pleased the Senate voted today to consider the TPA and TAA measures. As we prepare to take up major trade initiatives in the coming months, my biggest priority is ensuring we can negotiate enforceable deals that protect workers’ rights, environmental standards and intellectual property, while eliminating barriers that some countries erect to keep American products out.

“After much discussion with labor, agriculture and business leaders in Virginia, I will support the President’s request for Trade Promotion Authority because it gives the U.S. the best chance of elevating the standards for global trade in ways that will level the playing field for our workers, farmers and companies. At the same time, TAA legislation is needed to ensure our workers are given the opportunity to obtain skills and training that will help them compete in an increasingly global economy. While I stand with my colleagues in urging Senate leadership to allow amendments to improve TPA to be considered, I believe it’s important we consider this legislation now.

“My support for TPA is not a blind endorsement of any pending trade negotiation or deal. I look forward to ensuring the specifics of any final deal are placed before the public and fully debated to see if they meet our standards and benefit Virginia.”

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