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Rangel and Levin unveil new trade policy for America

House Ways and Means Committee | Washington DC | 27 March 2007

Rangel and Levin Unveil New Trade Policy for America

Plan incorporates changes to strengthen pending FTAs and regain bipartisan consensus

WASHINGTON, DC - House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Charles B. Rangel (D-NY), and Trade Subcommittee Chairman Sander Levin (D-MI), today unveiled “A New Trade Policy for America,” to improve pending free trade agreements and allow for bipartisan support in the House.

“We are on the brink of restoring bipartisanship to American trade policy,” said Chairman Rangel. “The policies we’ve outlined today should send a clear message that this Congress wants trade, but we want trade that works for all Americans.”

“We must use trade as a tool to shape globalization and spread its benefits more broadly,” urged Trade Subcommittee Chairman Sander M. Levin. “Congress, and this Democratic Majority, is reasserting its constitutional authority to stand up for U.S. businesses, workers, and farmers in the global marketplace.”

Specifically, the policy calls for the United States Trade Representative (USTR) to:

- Require countries to adopt, maintain and enforce basic international labor standards in their domestic laws and practices - not merely “enforce their own laws.”
- Promote sustainable development and combat global warming by requiring countries to implement and enforce common Multilateral Environmental Agreements, and address illegal logging of mahogany in Peru.
- Re-establish a fair balance between promoting access to medicines in developing countries and protecting pharmaceutical innovation.
- Promote U.S. national security by protecting operations at U.S. ports.
- Ensure that trade agreement accords “no greater rights” to foreign investors in the U.S. than to U.S. investors.

The Proposal also puts these pending FTA issues into the broader context and addresses a number of other key issues (including the pending negotiations with South Korea) that would set trade policy on the right track.

A summary of the proposal is attached.

 source: House and Ways Committee