Louise Slaughter Newsletter on Fast Track for TPP

On February 6, 2014, new data were released that shows the U.S.-South Korea trade imbalance has reached its largest deficit on record: $20.673 billion, a 56 percent increase from 2011. This comes just two years after the Korea-United States “free trade” agreement went into effect. This flawed trade agreement was passed in 2011 under a process called Fast Track Authority, which prevented me and fellow Members of Congress from amending the trade deal on behalf of our constituents. These data only further demonstrate why Congress must not renew Fast Track Authority and stop the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership – another flawed trade agreement that threatens to ship more American jobs overseas and dump our wages and benefits overboard along the way.

KORUS Trade Deficit Graphic

Instead of pushing flawed trade agreements, I believe Congress should pass legislation that supports U.S. manufacturing and will help create middle-class jobs in America. That is why I have introduced H.R. 3467, the Reciprocal Market Access Act. This legislation would instruct U.S. trade negotiators to eliminate barriers that hurt American manufacturers’ ability to sell their goods abroad before entering any new “free trade” agreements. In addition, my legislation would create a tool to quickly reinstate our own barriers if a foreign government does not allow American businesses to fairly compete in their markets.

We must finally create a level playing field for Americans to compete and win through fair trade. I remain as committed as ever to transforming U.S. trade policy so that we can finally create new family-wage jobs in America, safeguard our environment, maintain consumer protections and grow our middle class.

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