U.S. Rep. Adam Smith (D-Wash.) today issued the following statement on the bipartisan trade policy agreement reached late yesterday between Congress and the Administration. The agreement paves the way forward for trade pacts including the Peru and Panama Free Trade Agreements.
“I have supported trade because of the economic benefits, but I have been concerned that we have not done enough to protect workers’ rights and the environment. Chairman Rangel and others have done a good job hammering out a good template for trade that addresses both of these issues. All parties to the negotiations should be commended for their patience and good-faith efforts to craft good trade policies,” Smith said.
Under the agreement, free trade agreements currently pending will be altered to include important Democratic priorities, including provisions that will:
- Protect core labor standards;
- Preserve the environment;
- Speed the delivery of generic drugs;
- Empower U.S. state and federal governments to use labor standards and acceptable work and wage conditions as criteria for the approval of procurement contracts;
- Protect U.S. investors’ rights within the United States; and
- Assist workers and communities who lose jobs due to trade and technology through education and other benefits.