tv Today in Washington CSPAN October 7, 2011 6:00am-9:00am EDT
transportation bill. route 287 was written down 387 by mistake, and it was filibustered. 60 votes. so our defense is to fill the tree. but what we ought to try to do here -- and as i said, the senator from tennessee and i futilely tried earlier this year and maybe calmed things down -- is maybe use this flash point to try to come together and work that out again. that may be the -- that maybe the minority would not filibuster routinely everything, appointments, judges, minor bills, save it for the major bills, and in return i agree with the minority leader, the republican leader, the deal around this place is the majority sets the agenda and the minority gets to offer amendments. that has been the rule since i got here and it's one of the reasons, you're absolutely correct i say to my friend from
kentucky, why i left the house to run for the senate, but it's gotten to an extreme. you would say, my colleagues on the other side of the aisle would say it got to the extreme because we always fill the tree. we would say it got to the extreme because you filibuster everything and require 60 votes. we only have 53, we know that, on everything, judges, appointments, minor bills. and if we're going to bring this place back to order -- and my friend from tennessee, the junior senator from tennessee, if we're going to bring this place back to a way where we can legislate, we are going to have to both sides back off and we're going to have to figure out how to do that, which we haven't very adequately yet. just one other point before i ask my question. the senator from west virginia had a few of us on his boat this
week, and a number of the freshman senators from the other side of the aisle were on the boat and i was on the boat, and we began to talk about they were asking why is the place so mixed up. i was explaining some of the greatest joyce i have had in the senate and the house were conference committees and offering amendments and things like that. and we all said together why can't we get back to that? but let me say that it is not simply filling the tree and preventing amendments that has caused this problem. it is routinely requiring 60 votes before the senate gets a drink of water. and so my question to the majority leader is this -- would he be willing -- and we need a little bit of a cooling off period. would he be willing to sit down with the minority leader and others in an effort to try and figure out how we can get back
to somewhat more of a regular order? in regards to what i said. mr. reid: to my friend and to others who are listening, so everybody understands a little bit of the frustration that i have, we all went through the battle on the fema bill. everyone remembers that. people in the dark bowels of this building someplace typed that bill up. they made a mistake and had a comma, a comma in the wrong place, a comma in the wrong place. i asked consent, that was a technical correction, could we get that done. there were already press releases out from my republican friends, we're not going to agree to any consent on anything. so you talk about frustration, there is plenty of it to go around.
mr. president, i want to try to end this on a high note. i love this institution. i've devoted most of my life here in this building. not only as a long-time member of the house and the senate but i lived here going to law school. i worked in this building. i was a cop in this building. i love this building, i love this institution. i don't want to do anything to denigrate the institution. maybe there is blame to go around. i think there probably is. but frustration builds upon frustration, and as a result of that, we have situations just like this. so here is my suggestion: i think that just as we had a cooling-off period as we indicated that we would on that fema c.r., we had a cooling-off period, the republican leader and i agreed that that would be the right thing to do and we came back and worked something out. we did it very quickly.
it wasn't to everyone's satisfaction, i had people upset, he had people upset but we did that. it would be my suggestion that we do what i originally suggested, i think we should go ahead and do final passage on this matter on tuesday night, and do the judge first and vote on the jobs bill. and we'll do the trade stuff. and i am happy to not only sit down with the republican leader and, you know, i'm sure we can all cinch up our belts and as i -- they say in the old and new testament gird our loins and try to do a better job of how we get along here. i've talked to the republican leader only briefly about this, but i had a discussion with my leadership today, and one of the things that i was going to announce and so here it is, one of the things i want to do is have a joint caucus. i want to have one with
democratic senators and republican senators and at that time we can all talk about some of the frustrations we all have. i wanted to do 25 the first week we got back after the next recess. i hope that doesn't -- all my people don't know about this and certainly i haven't finalized this with the republican leader but i think that would be a good step forward, that senator mcconnell and i could be there in front of everybody else together, questions could be asked, statements could be made, and we could see if that would let a little air out of the tires. but -- and i'll be happy to next time we get cloture, in that event sometime in the future, to sit down and find out what, if anything, we should do postcloture on matters relating to people who are frustrated. so that's my statement, mr. president. so i -- i'm not asking for consent on anything, but i would hope that we could all
i'd just think it is important for the record to look at the progress that has been made and i understand the i l o removed colombia from the labor watch list in 2010. is that correct? if not -- i also understand there are 14 colombian labor union leaders that represent 80,000 colombian workers that have publicly endorsed the trade agreement recognizing the progress columbia has made combating labor violence on labor issues. i understand the president of one of columbia's three main labor plans, the most significant achievement of the last 50 years in colombia. it is important to recognize the progress that has been made on this issue and is there a more
steadfast ally to colombia when you look at the last five years in terms of all that has been required and accomplished? >> our bilateral relationship with colombia is exceedingly close. the prior administration and now with the santos administration. with innovations from the may of 2007 built into the core text that are enforceable like other provisions with the action plan the president insisted on we are moving forward in the right direction. it is something as with other commitments under trade agreements we expect to continue to work with the government of colombia to assure the full implementation. these are not simple matters that will require hard work to the government of colombia. >> mr. buchanan is recognized
for five minutes. >> thank you. i also want to thank chairman brady and their staff for their hard work. i am excited for the american people since 2007 when i got here we have been talking about these trade agreements. it is all about jobs not just in america but in florida. the administration mention 250,000 jobs especially in this environment. we need those jobs. also i looked through these agreements. negotiations should be win/lose. we have had a lot of that in the past. i think these are win/win agreements not just for america but korea, colombia and panama. i am excited about this. 80% of the exports to these countries are small and medium-sized businesses which is very exciting for the country as well. florida has 14 deepwater ports.
eighty-five billion dollars in economic activity. we have a real opportunity because of our close proximity to panama and colombia to drive $10 billion when we look at it. i have my own area that does $2.3 billion. we are the closest port to panama in the country. i believe the agreements are great step forward to getting the economy back on track. cheese three agreements are not just great for florida but for the country. the florida chamber represents 1 thirty-second thousand businesses where i was chairman but the chairman and ceo of the florida chamber quoted the other day that this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for florida to transform it from a global hub of logistics service and export-oriented manufacturing activity.
i couldn't agree more. can you give me your thoughts on the benefit to florida as it relates to these free trade agreements? any thoughts either of you might have? >> a number of areas that would be important to florida first in the agricultural sector, the agreement contains far reaching production and other incentives for exporting intellectual property rights area. as was pointed out earlier it was a ground-breaking agreement in the area of criminal penalty against copyright piracy and a number of areas that are important to businesses in florida. for government procurement. this will ensure non discriminatory actions with u.s. suppliers and procurement market in colombia so across sectors that are important to business in florida we think this will contain strong benefits.
>> anything you want to add to the benefits to florida and the country? you touched on that but because of our location especially in colombia and panama. do you have any thoughts? >> thank you. a lot of times people focus on tariff benefits that they see coming down. as mr. reif described there's so much more in these agreements because the focus on service barriers as well as technical barriers to trade, regulatory barriers and increasing transparency, intellectual property and electronic commerce, government procurement. all of these the benefits the state of florida would enjoy it as role of the rest of the country. because of florida's location and the location of colombia and panama being so close and those countries being hubs for the rest of latin america and florida being a hub for the rest of the united states there is
tremendous synergies that will exist as well. >> i yield back. >> thank you. >> mr. doggett is recognized. >> the question is whether to approve a free trade agreement with the -- that is what the fact are. i believe there are people of good faith working hard and colombia to remedy these problems but last year 49 trade union members were murdered in colombia and this year the numbers up to 20. the report that came out from human-rights watch this past week analyzing what is happening in colombia showed some progress but it was a little progress compared to nothing having been done for years. to be specific the report
indicates there have been six convictions out of 195 union murders and in nine of ten cases they never identified a suspect. i think the overall impact of this agreement on our economy is a very modest one. do we want to approved of an agreement with the country that has acted in this way? are find it particularly troubling that when we had our prior hearing on this the current administration opposed the inclusion of mr. levin's the amendment that would have inc. the action plan for columbia into this agreement. there is one problem with the action plan. it contains good provisions but is not actionable under this agreement. there is not a way to enforce it
to deal with these problems and trade union filings. i feel about the action plan just as i do about the speeches marcello texan, ambassador kirk and president obama have given about these trade agreements. i like what they are saying about changing the trade policy. i just can't tell whether after the speeches given these agreements we have anything different than what we have under the bush administration. these would appear to be continuation of the same policies that existed under the bush administration that do not recognize the importance of enforceable labor provisions. i am not just talking about something on the books and agreeing to an important principle under the i l o basic articles but what really happens on the ground where people are still being murdered because
they choose to provide leadership when workers organized to protect their rights and i think we see there has not been significant change on the ground in terms of this labor union violence. this will not bring great benefits to the economy. it will put in place the principle that even when people are being regularly murdered we are more concerned how many widgets moved than what is happening to the people producing the widgets. we need a 20 first century trade policy that is concerned about the volume of commerce and also concerned about what is happening to basic living standards of the workers. otherwise we continue to trade down and export jobs at the same time we are importing more goods from abroad. unless we encourage a reasonable level of worker protection i
believe this agreement is a step in the wrong direction. i applaud mr. levin for the repeated trips he has made to colombia and the attempts to address this problem and develop meaningful action plan. had it been incorporated into this agreement we would have addressed many of these problems but the administration shows surprisingly to oppose that which would have been an important part of a realistic 20 first century trade policy. without that action plan here i don't believe this agreement merits being approved and i certainly plan to vote against it. >> mr. reichert. >> by listening to some of this discussion from the perspective of a human being i am a little frustrated because it sounds like we expect people to be perfect in order to enter a
friendship or partnership or an agreement. we are expecting a country to be perfect to enter into an agreement. we have neighbors next door that are having problems and we built a wall and not talked to them. i don't think so. the same applies on a larger scale when we interact with other countries. i think mr 11 and mr. camp and all those who travel to colombia. i have been to colombia and korea and i think we need to look at ourselves. the united states is not perfect. colombia is not a perfect country. no country is perfect. as we build relationships together and work together and exchange ideas and learn from each other we become better. we never become perfect but we become better as we work with others and reach out across this great land.
we can improve the rights of workers. we can improve environmental situations across the world. in my visit to colombia i had an opportunity to meet with two different factions. more than one union and two factions representing different unions. one union group was in favor of the trade agreements and all of their arguments were based on the economy of colombia. on their jobs and families and the relationship. on the other side of the argument was all political. i asked the question of union leaders against this trade agreement what can we do to improve this agreement? the answer was you can do two things. remove president uribe and remove president bush.
both of those things have happened so what is holding this up? we need to get this done. i agree with president obama when he says pass these trade agreements now. i agree more accurately with president obama when he says ask -- pass this jobs bill now. if there ever was a jobs bill the three of them sitting in front of us today are jobs bills. we all know that. both sides understand that. 300,000 jobs are the estimates right now. you want to make the world safer place? improve national security and world security? you want to create excitement in education for young people by building partnerships and friendships across the globe where they learn from each other? you want to improve working
conditions for are hard working people across the globe and you want to improve and influence the environment? all those things can be accomplished through these trade agreements and especially you want to create jobs, peace, these bills do that. these bills do that. i agree with president obama when he says pass this job bill now. that goes for columbia -- colombia, panama and korea. pass these jobs bills now. i yield back. >> mr. mcdermott is recognized. >> thank you. i would like to clarify something mr. rangel brushed by and we didn't stop to think about it or i didn't hear
further discussion. that is the question of why do we want to have the language linking of a free-trade agreement to the action plan? what difference does it make in reality? mr. rangel suggested it means once we sign off on this it is in the hands of diplomats and the executive if we don't have it written into the lawn. we have no way to reach back in and have control. seems like that is the essence and i say that because sitting on this committee long enough you see a lot of stuff happen. i have a memory still and i remember sitting over there when we passed nafta. we had these side agreements. everyone was going to clean up and make sure the workers were taken care of and it was all
written in a nice letter and put in an envelope next to the agreement and we were also going to clean up the rio grande. they going to take care of that. i assume all the mexicans living along the border working in our plants are living a nice lifestyle before a beautiful river filled with fish and they have a wonderful time because we had those side letters. the reality is we never did one blessed thing about those. it seems to me that we by signing off on this agreement without having a link directly to the action plan are signing off on our ability to force the administration to change their policy toward colombia. this is not to say anybody isn't going to do it. it is just going to say as a part of our legislative response
ability we have handed it to the administration and said do whatever you want. you are on your own. in the face of the fact the international trade union confederation reported in 2010 colombia had more worker assassinations, 49, than the rest of the world combined. if this action plan is working so well, i hope so. ronald reagan, my idol, always said you should trust but verify and if we don't have it written into the law how do we verify? how do we force the administration? i would like to hear your response about what mechanisms there are for us to drag the administration in here and talk about this thing if it doesn't
turn out the way we think it is going to today. >> thank you. i would say two main things. they sharply distinguished the fta and the action plan from the analogy to the nafta plan. the president considers when to bring into effect whether colombia took all the steps necessary he will have before him whether they have implemented all of these far reaching steps of the action plan containing a side agreement. this administration has an unprecedented track record not just signing agreements but supporting concluding agreements. also following through. >> my time is just about up. i want to add one thing.
in february of 2011 the international labor organization reported, quote, the majority of cases of violence against workers have not been investigated nor have perpetrators of these crimes been brought to justice. you are saying all of that is going to be done between now and january 1st if this bill passes. is that correct? >> the action plan put in place mechanisms colombia is using. >> will it actually have applied to the people applies to? >> it is beginning to apply. there are examples when it has applied when an investigation has started and prosecutions under the current plan -- >> the administration's message is trust me. >> i yield back the balance of
my time. >> mr. paulsen is recognized. >> i want to thank you for your leadership and mr. brady's leadership. monday was a good day with trade agreement submitted. this is a good date and hopefully we can pass all these initiatives on the floor. i won't answer any questions but want to point out there are benefits to my home state of minnesota and a couple hours ago iran into a health-care company speaking directly about colombia agreement particularly since we're on that now i thought i would mention their health care company. we do $30 million of export the year and they have five facilities in the united states dependent on exports. they mentioned products going into colombia with a 14% tariff and those from colombia are almost zero. this will allow more
opportunities in colombia. it is a great opportunity for job expansion and we are focused on that. another example of great american company which is not headquartered in my district is caterpillar and i want to mention this is a company that 20 years ago had u.s. employment of 29,000 people. today they employ 47,000 people including paving facilities company in my home state of minnesota. without the ability to export many of these jobs would not exist in minnesota or nationally. this company exports 36% of their products in minnesota. colombia is one of their largest mining product opportunities and yet colombia customers pay significantly more in higher tariffs on imports than any u.s. machine that come in. these are significant and large
tariffs. they face a 5% tariff in colombia which is $100,000 of additional price tag and 15% duty which had $300,000 to the price of a truck. an opportunity to allow u.s. products to be sold american in colombia. the panamanian and korean agreements are just as important. i want to thank you for your leadership. i am looking forward to bipartisan support not only today but next week. i yield back. >> mr. schock is recognized. >> i was looking forward to this meeting and have been for three years and i was looking forward to a positive meeting i have to tell you for first-time listeners tuning in the discussion can be rather depressing. all the talk about murders,
violence, you would think we are entering into a trade agreement with st. louis. you would think we were entering a trade agreement with baltimore or newark or a trade agreement with detroit. my friends on the other side, these cities in the united states have a higher murder rate and higher violence rate per-capita that colombia. am i proud of that? absolutely not. >> will the gentleman yield? >> do we need to do better as a country and a community? absolutely. let's give credit where credit is due. there are 200 people murdered in colombia several years ago. less than 20 so far this year. the colombians are not proud of
this but they're making progress. they put a plan of action in place. a plan this president deserves credit for helping to negotiate before my friend on the other side suggesting this language that the country and president of colombia have agreed to that somehow should be attached to our free trade agreement is devoid of the reality of what a trade agreement is. no trade agreement this congress has passed in the history of this country has included language to dictate what the other country is required to do. our trade agreement by definition is the language in which our country is agreeing to a set of principles. for my friends on the other side
to suggests the good gestures and promises of the santos administration and the colombian congress should be amended and adopted to our trade agreement is setting a new standard, a double standard and breaking past practice of how we negotiate in good faith with other governments. it is a bad policy. second, i would ask my friends who are going to oppose this trade agreement the assumption is perhaps they are comfortable with the violence and murder rates and humanitarian efforts of the other two countries we are about to vote on and all other countries we have current trade agreements with. i do not hear my friends on the other side suggesting we should revisit our trade agreement with
mexico which not only has significant violence and murder rates on its own people but on our people. perhaps it is the government that should be looking at an agreement with us. now that they have discovered that our government uses our taxpayer money to infiltrate their streets with weapons. this is a dangerous road for us to be going down when what we should be talking about is trade and create a level playing fields in commerce so that growers and manufacturers and service sector folks in our communities can compete on a level playing field with those in other countries who wish to do the same. that is why the colombia trade agreement is a no-brainer. perhaps you can enlighten us as to the start of this year what attacks is that colombia
producers of flour and coffee 8 united states citizens and companies in terms of trading their goods to our economy? >> the average tariff paid by imports from colombia into the united states was less than 1%. the average tariff paid by u.s. exports to colombia was 11.2%. >> the people being put at a competitive disadvantage by inaction is not colombia and the united states but just the united states. >> yes, i think that is accurate. >> if we care about jobs and growing the economy i would urge passage of this bill. >> mr. thompson is recognized.
>> for 20 years colombia has benefited greatly from duty-free access in the u.s. markets and the ambient trade preferences act and at the same time they have also enjoyed lucrative government subsidies and sometimes u.s. foreign aid to benefit their access into our market. one thing that has done in my home state of california is devastated the cut flower industry. once a very lucrative industry and market, thousands of jobs and has been devastated by this unfair playing field on which colombia operates with regard to the specific industry. it is not a new issue and not something that hasn't been brought up.
i have had conversations with the trade ambassador and california delegation have written the president and secretary of agriculture, the trade ambassador and even in this committee when we had not really a mark up and raise an amendment on this issue for discussion purposes and withdrew it. this is not a new issue but it is one that the administration and negotiators have failed to recognize. if something is not done it will end the rest of this incredibly important industry in california. the colombians also enjoy two major trading transportation hubs to not only bring their
flowers in the being grown and cut but to better and more efficiently distribute them in our country put another nail in the coffin of our domestic industry. there are ways to fix this and we tried to deal with it but it is as though this administration has been deaf to our problems. and i think that is terribly important and unfortunate and presents a huge problem for me on this particular measure and it is an industry i am not going to stand by and let die. unless this administration does something that is what is going to happen and that is unacceptable. i yield back the balance of my time. >> mr. marchant is recognized. >> thank you.
>> mr. marchant and the will come back to you. >> thank you for all your work and chairman brady's work on these trade agreements. i would like to thank ron kirk for his work in bringing these agreements to this point. is my privilege to represent the dallas-fort worth airport and the cities that surround that airport. it is a very important economic engine in the state of texas. these trade agreements would generate jobs in the dallas-fort worth area from transportation. warehousing and distribution of hundreds of millions of dollars of goods that will flow through the airport's. our area will serve as an important gateway for the ever
increasing movement of imports from these countries that are flown in from south america and korea. these trade agreements mark an important first step towards getting these countries economy back on track. people in the 24 district of texas need jobs and these agreements will provide those jobs. over 9% of america's work force is out of work looking for jobs using the president's don't metrics. over 250,000 jobs will be created from these trade agreements. it is time to act. time for us as a committee -- time for the house to vote these bills. time for us to move forward.
>> mr. larsen is recognized. >> thank you. for organizing this today. my questions deal specifically for the general counsel of the u.s. the are and could if they relate to north korea i will not be able to be here for the rest of the hearing. and a number of issues have arisen. people from my district talking about some areas that need to be clarified as relates to the united states sanctions, north korea, the case on industrial complex and shipments from china that remain a concern but before we vote on this matter i was hoping you could clarify that. let me go through them and if you don't have the time you could submit it in writing but the questions are what impact
will the fda have on u.s. sanctions on north korea? can goods coming to the united states under the fda? how is the united states going to ensure that these components don't enter the united states? if goods were going to be converted by fda and afforded relief what would need to happen? executive order or resolution legislation? what steps are being taken to assure chinese manufacturers don't ship goods through corey and claim the goods were made in korea to obtain duty relief under fda? all of them are related. >> good to see you. let me try to take your questions one by one. would impact on u.s. sanctions?
on north korea none. the fda does not affect those sanctions. united states has had sanctions for many years and a different set of statutes that prohibit imports directly or indirectly from north korea accept where they expressly license current executive order that carries for this regime and titans it further by prohibiting attempts activation of this regime. in recent years this regime has implemented sanctions related to north korea in development of missile technology and other statutes. imports have been at virtually 9,000 in 2010 all of which were postage stamps. we have a tight sanctions regime and the fda will not affect that. can goods from the industrial plant in north korea coming to the united states under the fda?
no. imports from north korea are affected by the sanction regime. under the fda goods from north korea are disqualified from entering the united states. should jumping to one of the questions later on, should there be a desire to change that would have to be a policy step, committee comprised by u.s. officials and north korean officials would have to meet and agree unanimously to recommend there be a change and the united states government would have to recommend that congress and congress would enact the change into law. the congress would have to enact change to u.s. law and sign that into effect. how will we ensure products are not entering the united states? customs border protection agents
have three powerful tools. they look at four points in time. before a shipment leaves korea, when the shipment arrives at a u.s. port and after it cleared customs and apply powerful tools front loaded to detection at the front. the customs service has numerous ways of obtaining information that can detect whether shipments from north korea or other forms of inappropriate and trees are coming in. by contacting south korean authorities working with u.s. businesses and labor organizations. and deploy the resources of the government having eyes on the ground in korea that can be watching and working on these issues.
in specific areas the border protection authorities can conduct written questionnaires and examine purchase orders and delivery noticees going into minute detail. the things you do not want to be engaged in to assess whether there is a problem. the united states and south korea entered a new memorandum of understanding that will further enhance provisions and that is a result of the free trade agreement which will improve our ability to detect shipments from north korea. >> i assume my time is running out. thank you for clarifying. if i could receive those in writing these are important to constituents who care about these issues. >> miss black is recognized. >> i want to thank all of those involved in bringing this bill
today particularly chairman camp and chairman brady and the president for taking action and knowing this bill will be a significant bill for us creating jobs. this -- these three job bills today. i want to go specifically to my state and the areas i represent. we have 50% of my district as agriculture and we grow corn and wheat and slowly in this area. there has been a real shift in our market share falling 71% in colombia in 2008 to the current date of 27%. this is significant for our farmers who have a number of challenges to begin with and many challenges out of their control but knowing that we have not moved forward is
disappointing for me and my farmers. i want to go back to the discussion that is the biggest thing today on the other side of the aisle. objection to passing this bill. that is the labor issue and i want to draw the thread and have my colleagues from washington and illinois recognize colombia's impressive progress on labor rights. that is important to us that we make sure those we are doing business with our treating people well. it is important for us to make sure we have the facts right and talk about this to insure people listening we are concerned about laborites and there are facts to show we should move forward because of the progress that has been made. making dramatic improvement in labor laws, increasing violence against union members and
increasing prosecution against those who create such violence. to talk about what has the you and done in recognizing this? have they taken an action as a result of what colombia has done? >> the international labor organization has removed colombia from a list of countries with particular problems in this area over the last number of months and in recognition of important progress that the santos administration has made moving forward addressing a number of these different areas. as the discussion illustrated it is not a simple matter. we have high confidence in the action plan and the action plan is implemented by colombia every step of the way as provided by the action plan with a few remaining steps left. we are confident the action plan
will alter this situation on the ground coupled with the highest labor standards of any free-trade agreement in the cortex of the agreement. >> that is important to make sure it is being noted within this committee and also for those who are listening and falling these agreements because there will be a lot of news after today. this is an important day for the jobs bill and being able to move forward and help farmers in many other industries. it is not just the united states that has recognized the progress in colombia. is recognized by the un and the fact they have been lifted by the labor watch list in 2010. as you already said there is significant action since april
when president obama and president santos agreed on a labor relations plan. almost all of which columbia has completed and they are meeting every deadline. it is so important that when we talk about our concerns, we also make sure the facts are on the table and we are not ignoring this issue and this is an issue being addressed seriously and to give credit to the colombian leaders that they are progressing and that says to me there's a reason to support this and to say this is good for colombia and good for the united states but most importantly good for the american citizens in the creation of jobs. i yield back my time. >> mr. larsen is recognized? >> i regret i have to leave and attend a funeral and wish for
the record to be recorded no on colombia, yes on korea and yes on panama. >> mr. blumenauer is recognized. >> i appreciate getting to this point with these issues. trade in the international community is important and i have been proud of my history of trying to work on a bipartisan platform dealing with trade in china and vietnam and peru and have been pleased to have efforts to work to make these things better. we have seen some who are cranky that things did not proceed with the agreements were negotiated. i think the time was well worth
it and i appreciate what has happened with the administration in a number of areas of clarification and i thank the countries involved for moving forward. it will make a difference for the community i represent. in terms of korea, the panamanian agreement dealing with environmental protections which are of interest to me. and there has been progress made with colombia. i would take modest exception to the point of my good friend from illinois because we're not talking about murder rates per se although i think all of us are concerned about st. louis and bogota. but the notion of violence targeted toward specific people. my information is there were
more trade unionists in colombia killed than any place in the world. not just a murder rate. there has been progress and i salute the progress and hope more is done. we are in this together and have a responsibility to the country of colombia which is more than a little destabilized because we can't keep drugs out of prison and it had that effect on them. i do think it is important to consider the progress of improvement trying to reestablish a platform where we can work cooperative lee and thoughtfully on the big picture issue. there is more that can be done. strengthening the action plan and dealing with issues of colombia. i am not going to speak extensively in the course of the proceedings on the others but what we are talking about going
forward is a recognition that the delay with the administration and we have worked on it and resulted in agreements that are better and it was worth the effort. i plan on supporting two of the three but i hope this is a platform we go forward in other areas where we can strengthen the things our constituents agree upon because there's an opportunity for progress. >> it is nice to see you back at the committee and i congratulate you for your hard work for bringing this forward. i don't want to take much time because we have taken five years too much time. i am more than a little embarrassed that it has taken this long to get to this. let's think about who this
agreement is with. we have colombia unfettered trade to our country that gets us reciprocal treatment. i don't understand why labor doesn't call this a victory. why are we moving the goal post again? i will not yield. someone will ask me to in a second. foreign policy. this is a no-brainer. look at what this ally has done. they stopped the drug trade and engaging great security cooperation in south america. they helped at the u. n. security council and taken the initiative in spark and help with iran at the un. they are a beachhead for democracy and free enterprise in latin america where we need one. it is embarrassing that it has taken this long. we are damaging our country's
leadership by dragging our feet on these agreements. i don't want to take more time because i want to get on with this vote and move this forward. your microphone. >> we don't expect people to be perfect. but what we are hearing today is very familiar. go back the last discussion, ten trade agreements. the same promises and the same commitments. you brought up an interesting subject now that we are dealing with no-brainers. let me ask mr. reif, since
president santos was elected in colombia, he is the president. right? the last 38 cases of trade union mergers. do you know how many convictions we have had since he was president now we turn to a new chapter? how many convictions? >> i don't know what they're being investigated. if i might say -- >> how many? one is the answer. where is your progress? where is your progress that you talk about? this is not delayed. this is not delayed over five years. this is discussion to try to get the best deal we can get.
i respect both sides of the aisle who participate in these things to bring us to where we are but that doesn't mean we have gotten to where we want to be. i am looking at the u.s. international trade agreement of the commerce department although it is independent and impartial. would you agree with that? >> it is an independent agency comprised of -- >> would you consider them and partial? >> yes. >> i am looking at the report on the deal before us today. i want to know your response to what they say. the korea deal, jobs negligible. the colombia deal, minimal to no affect in most job sectors. panama is unclear.
we have a major problem. you want to stock about distorting facts? both sides is committed and neither is privy to the issue of jobs. both sides committed in january to bring before us, the american people, jobs, how the government can be helpful in creating jobs. it doesn't happen that way. we can falsely promise and raise expectations and not being able to deliver on most of the deals we pass and 95 anyone to tell this audience today that is why people are demonstrating in new york and detroit and other places. these and not anarchists and if they are to heck with them. they are people who understand
the promises we presented we can't deliver on. the panama deal is a different situation. this is a do over. this is a do over. the may 10th, 2007, agreement which we fought for and supported provided the inclusion of international labor standards to make trade for the first time. our workers are not going to take it any longer with false promises that help one statement of the population, one area whether it is new jersey or and does not look at the very basic creation of jobs. we are bad at it and trade deals are as much a part of what has happened to this country in the last four years as anything else. no party can stand what happened
in trade agreements with other countries. if all societies had to do, we need two or three things to change this. we talked about it here. manipulation of currency. if we rectify that there would be 1,000,200 jobs created in this country and we do nothing about it. your leadership wouldn't even bring it up. both sides are betting on the issue. >> mr. reed is recognized. >> i will let my colleagues argue and have a discussion on side issues but i will take a direct question for mr reif. the administration's estimate, how many jobs are we talking about? >> the itc estimate in the clean air agreement which is the largest of them, 70,000. let me point of the itc modeling
include the only goods. the korean services market where we stand to benefit enormously in the united states in our business and employment is not part of the itc study. it is positive in terms of job corey -- creation. the korean won is the largest one. >> they have an estimate of job impact? >> i agree with mr. reif's characterization of the conservative nature of the itc estimate. >> so there is a good chance we will be creating jobs out of these agreements. i will take that moment to enjoy the fact we're doing something positive about the economic condition of america with passage of these three agreements. one issue i wanted to touch on.
i come from upstate new york. a lot of agricultural activity and one product in particular are apples and i know the south korean agreement there are some issues with the apple situation in colombia and panama receptive to the apple trade. i want you to know that my office is interested in working with the administration and trade ambassadors who work with the south korean government about expanding the opening of apple exports to south korea. anything we can do would be greatly appreciated. >> we are pleased to work with your office and the growers in the korean market and any other market. might i make a comment about the number of comments made about
the lay? the president took office when there was enormous skepticism about trade and when he directed his ambassador, ambassador kirk to do is go to each of the pending agreements and address the concerns. the discussion this morning and we will get to the other two agreements in a short while illustrates we succeeded better in the eyes of some of the agreements and took head on the issues of automobiles and other things and we took head on the issue of labor standards and the relationship between the ability to apply strong labor provisions embedded in the colombia agreement with the issue of labor violence. we took head on the issue of taxes and labor laws in panama.
the purpose of doing that was to lay a firmer foundation that we found when the president took office. for now and the foreseeable future so the important role and critical role in expanding trade to the economy can be entrenched and moving forward as well as agreements that follow in the future. so there is a purpose in working on these agreements but want to say on behalf of the administration and ambassador kirk then there was a reason for that and we are pleased to be moving forward on these agreements. >> as a new member of congress i would like to say it is amazing what we can accomplish in this city. some very strong leaders and as
a new member you will always hear that from me. i don't care who gets the credit or the arguments so long as we're moving the ball down the field and we are making a giant step to move the ball down the field in a positive way for all americans and with that i yield back the balance of my time. >> two remaining requests for questions and look to concluding the question period. we will move to mr. neal. >> i have a question for mr. ryan. i have been generally supportive of these trade agreements. these are no-brainers, then why are the american people so skeptical? there would be an acknowledgment that because economic dislocation and parts of the economy do better and parts that do worse and much of it concentrated in old industrial
areas. if we accept the genius of capitalism is new industries and innovation replace those that dying out, what is the role for the government to mitigate circumstances. if they're all no-brainers why is it the american people are so skeptical? >> we should judge every agreement on their merits because we give them free access to our market but they don't. ..
>> don't open up their markets despite what they say. and that the trade field really hasn't been leveled in many instances. >> because the flipside is we should do nothing? >> that's not the argument at all. i asked the question rhetorically and you attempted to respond to it. if, in fact, these are so great, why is it the american people are so skeptical? my hunch is, that is the case. >> farmers are asking us to pass this so they can sell their grain. manufacturers are asking us -- [talking over each other] >> two and 50,000 jobs resulting from these free trade agreements. what our manufactures, we have to under --
>> many of those who petition, support for normal trade agreement with china today would argue, particularly the financial services industry, the barriers that have been created by china -- >> we're talking about colombia. >> you made the argument these are no-brainers. my response to that is many who petition over the years and support of permanent normal trade agreement with china they would today conversely argue that in the financial services industry, the idea of a forest partnership -- [talking over each other] cannot make the determination for the company. >> let me answer your question specifically. when i say no-brainer, when columbia's free access to our markets but we don't have free access to their markets, and this essentially gives us a bat, vacuuming is a no-brainer. >> the general argument might be, mr. chairman, that we acknowledge some parts of our economy do better and give some parts of our economy do worse.
we are told you for many years you couldn't include labourites or environment concerned, could include human rights initiatives. today we've discovered you can include all of them. some of the other agreements that were compelled to vote upon yes or no without the qualifications i've offered, they will indeed have strengthened have we had the opportunity of the time to go beyond a yes or no vote and use the amendment process. i thank you, mr. chairman. >> mr. berg is recognized. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i do also want to speed this up and not slow it down, but i want to thank you, mr. chairman, and mr. brady for all the work in trade. again, ms. ellard for all your work, and also want to thank my freshman colleagues, mr. reed in ms. black. when we came out here our concern was trade and there were 67 of the freshman that said let's get rolling on this. we've hashed over all these things but one in a total thing for me was i talk to her trade office in north dakota a couple
days ago and i asked of them, our manufactures, people moving agriculture parks, are they ready to start moving forward when the trade agreements pass? and the comment that he was we've been ready since 2006. and so again, i see this right now we have a 30% tariff on her act products from 40% tariff on our products going to colombia is dissolving that. my only fear is that we haven't lost too much market share by the time this gets implemented in a way that helps our american producers whether it is small business or agriculture get in his market. so again, no question, just a comment. i will yield. >> would you yield me 30 seconds? >> absolutely. >> i just want to say one thing to my friend from massachusetts. we have a trade surplus with countries even in manufacturing that we have trade agreements with.
our deficits are what countries we do not have trade agreements with. i think that means we should pursue more trade agreements so we can get the kind of advantages for our constituents and our economy like we been able to achieve with those with which we are trade agreements. >> would the gentleman yield? >> would somebody yield -- >> mr. ryan has the time. mr. burr controls the time but he yielded to mr. ryan. spend i would be delighted. >> i think the point is we do well for our country when we get trade agreements. and we even have surpluses. that's what we're talking about here. >> one of the problems with the trade agreement -- >> the time is mr. berg. mr. berg? >> i can, i yield to mr. ryan. >> i yield to mr. neal. >> would the gentleman acknowledge -- >> wait, wait. you can't double yield.
[laughter] >> i will yield to mr. neal. spent i thank the gentleman. >> one minute. >> the gentleman has made the argument to reinforce what i just said. north dakota is performed well. agricultural sectors going to do well from these agreements. that's not in dispute. many of the old line manufactures that were promised across the country, didn't benefit and many of the items that were suggested to us in selling the agreement really didn't turn out to be quite what we were told they were going to be. and if you recall the fevered pusher from many sectors of the comic to push the chinese trade agreement really didn't pan out. i come back to the argument i made a moment ago that many of the financial services industry who decided they're going to go with great enthusiasm to china has decided after many years to pull back and, indeed, withdraw. and it is the course of partnership that is the most problematic part of the
relationship. the idea once again you can only control 49% of the company's endeavors is a prohibitive factor. and i hope the gentleman yield to you can yield would acknowledge that part. >> i will reclaim my time and yield. i will acknowledge that this is colombia, not china. we don't have a trade agreement with china. and if we ever did we would make sure, it would be in our interest to -- >> mr. burr, one last word. >> i yield. [laughter] >> mr. berg as a as a few seconds of many, or if you'll but i will recognize mr. crowley and he can yield. >> i yield back spent mr. crowley is recognized for five minutes. >> mr. chairman, i will yield to my colleague from massachusetts. >> my point, mr. ryan was when i hear people say these agreements are no-brainers, they have been sold to us under that guise before.
only to discover afterwards that there are certain parts of the agreements that do not go down well, previously held positions that were enthusiastically supported by sectors of the economy. >> reclining my time. mr. chairman, thank you very much, first of all, for bringing all these bills before us today. i know a great deal of work on both sides of the aisle went into the development of these agreements. i just want to thank the administration to move forward. but i just want to make, i wasn't going to speak particularly on this bill or any of them quite frankly. i do have some comment for the record i will introduce indirect but i felt compelled at this moment -- >> without objection. >> i felt to say something to my calling from illinois, and the statements about what it is we're trying, i believe what we are trying to do by engaging in these agreements. i would argue one of our
greatest commodities in whatever greatest products we have in this country or our values. and what we'd like to see in other countries that are developing around the world, and the murder rate in colombia is a factor, as is other human rights i think within countries that we enter into agreement with. we do not have an agreement with burma. we do not have an agreement with north korea. we don't have one with iran. i would imagine that my colleague from illinois would not suggest we enter into them because of their human rights violations and the positions they hold contrary to ours with our own allies, shared allies would have. for instance, with south korea. one of the things i said about south korea is they ought to be -- act like south korea. i just think it's important that many of us on the side of the aisle would say lech renegotiate the agreement with mexico.
many people my side of guy would say, i wasn't here, my colleague from illinois, when that legislation, those agreements were entered into. but there's no question here we all have concerns about the level of violence and murder that is taking place in mexico today. and would certainly working through the agreement we have right now hoping that we can some weight effectuate change within mexico. the notion or idea that these are purely economic agreements i would argue that they are also and maybe more importantly geopolitical agreements and diplomatic agreements that were entered into today. and that our reason for supporting these agreements if we so choose to is because we do believe that korea is a special ally of the united states, that we do believe that panama is a special ally of the united states, and that we do believe
that colombia and south america is a special ally to the united states. long-standing ally. dating back as far as maybe prior to that, but the korean war. so i don't think that purely looking at this as an economics and not looking at the greater picture and what is happening in these countries, although that should not be important to us i think needs to be clarified, from at least the side of the aisle, at least on this gentleman from new york. those are important factors that i think need to be weighed when negotiating these agreements. and without i will yield back the balance of my time. >> mr. kind is recognized. >> thank you, mr. chairman. mrmr. chairman, first of all ofe commend the leadership of this committee. i know there's been a lot of hard work put in these three bilateral trade agreements, and appreciate the opportunity to be able to consider them today. and i for one will be supporting all three. i think it's time for us to get back in the game. i commend the ustr team that's been assembled in the obama
administration taking the three trade agreements from prior negotiate by the bush administration and made them better. there was some serious concerns a special on the side of the aisle in to what was initially negotiated, the administration recognizes when all three countries, and i think improved drastically, put them in a position now where many of us feel much more comfortable supporting. and including colombia. i share the concerns that many of my colleagues on this i do, and the level of violence with labor leaders in particular. that's an issue that needs to be addressed. however, i think the labor action plan that was negotiated that is now being implemented, is a huge step forward. and unlike our ranking member who played an instrumental role in making sure that labor action plan was in place and is moving forward, i don't share his concern that it was vitally important about it as part of the bulk of the agreement. mr. reif, let me ask him all lot of what's in the plans already
in process, already being implemented. are we fooling ourselves into thinking that will stop at some point in the future if it's not a part of the agreement, or do you think the colombian government, good-faith effort, is going to live up to the agreement that they've reached under this plan and continue implementing and trying to continue to improve the labor violence conditions in that country? >> i think very much so. for a number of reasons. first i think this administration from when it started has approached this issue with a bigger in this a. and sickly all of the element of the action plan except the full hiring of all the labor safety will be in place, schedule before january 1, 2012. yes, we fully expect that the government will continue to implement that plan and we will
work with that to provide assistance to provide, to share with concerned if they arise or as they arise, which is true in other areas trade agreements as well as we continue to work. >> let me just reiterate my thanks to mr. levin for the leadership issue on this issue. he really advanced the ball. what i'm hearing from you today come in your opinion, is the fact it's not a part of the bulk of the agreement will not weaken the commitment of the claim government in regards to the labor action plan as we move forward, is that right? >> that is correct. >> i share mr. bush stymies line of question that the longer on the sidelines, the greater market share we will be losing indeed countries. just at a recent meeting with ambassador kirk who informed us with our laws close to 50% of market share for agriculture products going into colombia in the last year alone. they are moving forward, colombia, korea, panama, with bilateral agreements with other
countries. the longer we wait the more we will be excluding our products, our services in getting in the country. so i think time is of the essence. not that these agreements will be the panacea to what ails our economy but being on the sideline for so long, not having a robust and aggressive trade agenda i think it has hurt our economy and it can be part of the solution getting us back on track reading the good paying jobs we just believe me. i know i've been hearing a loud for my agriculture producers, these groups are a good deal, they are essential. for us to increased market share. many of my manufacturers, 3m, comments, are all supportive of these agreements because what they're making in western wisconsin is being exported but getting hit with tariffs going into these countries, a tax that is harder to remain competitive. these agreements would help in that regard. i know it's difficult, the economic anxiety we face in trying to sell these agreement with the american people. but as my colleague from wisconsin pointed out, we are 4%
of the world population. we've got to stay engaged. this is more than just goods and services across the borders. i think when that happens armies don't. it's an important tool in our diplomatic arsenal as well. we are engaged actively in trade agreements trying to reduce the barriers and level the playing field for our workers, for our companies. i think these trade agreements make huge step in that direction providing good template for future trade action that we hope will be able to work on as a committee come and again i commend the leadership. mr. chairman, i also want to thank you for your diligence with the reauthorization. it's been a sticking point for too long. got to get done but hopefully will have a chance in the future to have some hearings and committees on how we can improve the key a process with much more effective. and much more helpful to those displaced workers that are impacted adversely from trade. thank you and i yield back. >> ms. berkley is recognized. >> thank you, mr. chairman, and in the interest of time, i'd
like my full statement to be put in the record spent without objection. >> and just taking a moment of the committee's time, i also have serious concerns about job creation in this country. my state in particular has been hardest hit. i've got the highest unemployment rate in the nation. i will be voting against the trade agreement for the very reason that some in the committee are saying that it's a very good thing, rather than creating jobs in the number 200,000 has been presented by many of my colleagues, i think just the opposite is going to happen. i'm very fearful that these trade agreements will continue to undermine the american workforce, and that we will have, we will be losing 200,000 jobs, not creating it. creating them. and for that reason i will be voting against all three and up so that my entire statement for the record. i think you. >> mr. becerra is recognized. >> thank you, mr. chairman. appreciate that.
i will try not use my full five minutes. minutes. i think a bit much for being here again. i only have a few questions to you. one, i think that as you this before. do you own a house? >> we do. >> and did you shake hands with the bank when they link to the money to buy your house? or did they have you signed documents? >> there was a shaking of and signed documents. >> did they give you the money because you sure can't or because you signed the document's? >> i suspect it was related to the documents spent ice effects -- i suspect so as well. if we these days rely on a document that is signed that certifies that we have an agreement so that i as a bank would feel comfortable lending you money, or i as the owner of a home feel comfortable for you
as a buyer to take over my home, it's because we want to be as sure as possible that you indeed will fulfill your end of the bargain after i've given you the house or i've given you the loan. with regard to colombia, i know the president did a great job of trying to negotiate some terms with colombia to address the extreme violence that exists today in colombia. not just against colombia's but colombia to our workers who are trying to increase their wages or get better working conditions in their place of work. and my understanding is that it was a pretty good agreement on how can afford to make sure that colombia will not try to allow its employers to suppress the opportunities for its workers to engage in meaningful activities
to protect their wages come increase their wages or protect their opportunities and rights at the workplace. i appreciate that you're relying on the good faith of the colon in government to try to move forward the terms of that plan that was agreed to. not just as the bank didn't rely on your good faith to pay the mortgage, nor would you rely if you ever sell the house on the good faith of the buyer to pay you as well, i do believe that united states, more importantly americans and american workers should rely on good faith of another country to make sure that it's competing with our workers raised solely on a handshake or some purple promise, or serving the good faith of any particular competitor. and i believe that's what this all boils down to because i want to applaud the work this administration has done in trying to change what was i believe a flawed trade agreement when it was first signed your and i want to applaud the president for making it a part
of his administration, efforts to try to change the terms of the original agreement to make it a better agreement. and i want to applaud the president for the work he did to try to get this action plan to deal with what is the highest trade worker killings in any part of the world. in fact, my understanding is that in colombia you have more trade union is killed then you have throughout the world, for these particular suppression regions. and i think he did phenomenal there. i think you fell short in china make sure you could then get those terms satisfy. and i think it's a darn shame, actually more than a darn shame because american workers, not just colombian workers are the one to pay the price if colombia doesn't resolve the violence against people who work and try to organize and try to make sure all colombian workers have decent conditions. if they don't get these in it makes it easier for colombian
businesses to compete against u.s. businesses for things we currently manufacture. so appreciate everything you've done. terrible mistake in not moving forward to make sure you've got a signature on the dotted line. not from the president, but for american workers to make sure that they can feel comfortable with that. i think in terms of the of the agreement that will have a chance to discuss you also make progress, and i appreciate that. but in terms of the colombian agreement i think it's a real unfortunate mistake to try to move forward with agreement without taking care of the issues of leveling the playing field so american workers again don't you beseiged because some countries using artificial constraints to compete against american workers who are the most productive if not the most productive in the world. so i thank you and the president, and all his administration are working with you but i sure would love to discipline you for the failure to move forward on that one aspect of making sure you tie all the ends together.
with that, mr. chairman, i yield back. >> thank you. mr. levin is recognized. i believe there are no further questions. mr. levin? >> i was going to come, but i think mr. becerra has covered this issue. a preference of the administration is to have reference of the action plan. and that was thwarted and i think was a mistake to get into it. the action plan relates to the just of the issues between our two countries, prevented the approval of colombia way back. and i think another factor is a clear reference in the action
plan, and implementation bill, would lay the foundation, we describe the basis for future implementation of the worker rights provision in the agreement. because, after long struggle starting with a real, we were able to get worker rights, the ilo provisions into a trade agreement. and its general language and what it means will be determined in its implementation. and in terms of colombia, the clear reference in the implementation bill would lay the foundation for future use of the dispute settlement system. so, i think, as i said before,
it was a step forward. and i echo what mr. becerra has just said. it was a serious mistake to have no reference whatsoever. so i yield back, and we will now go into korea. >> with a couple of items of business first. there being no further question, are there any amendment to h.r. 3078? and if there are no amendments and when i recognize mr. herger for the purpose of offering a motion. >> thank you i move that the committee favorably report h.r. 3078 to the house of representatives spent the question is unfavorably reporting the bill. all those in favor signify by saying aye. those opposing by five saying no. the ayes have it. spent we have agreed. >> a recorded vote is requested. >> will do that on all three so maybe don't need to ask spent i need to say for the record pursuant to committee rule 19 the record vote will be
postponed until the end of the markup. the committee will now proceed to consideration of h.r. 3079, the united states panama trade promotion agreement and application act which was distributed in advance along with a section by section summary. without objection to do we pick considered as read. i when i turned to miss out to provide the technical description of h.r. 3079. i'll ask members all the questions until after her presentation. >> thank you, mr. chairman. again, just like the prior agreement, attacks and the statement of administrative action was circulated in advance. this agreement is very similar in structure to the agreement that have been considered in the pathologist highlight a few key issues. and also, the panama text that has been circulated and i was introduced by the president was submitted by the president on monday, is virtually identical
to the non-markup version of this committee examined, except for certain technical issues and offsets. so title i contains the approval and general provisions. title ii contains the custom provisions including the tariff proclamation authority. section 202 contains the agriculture safeguard. 203 contains the rule of origin. and title iii contains all of the safeguard provisions, including the general safeguards, textile safeguards and provisions relating to the global safeguards. title iv contains miscellaneous provisions, and title v contains the offset, which in section 501 use of these would be extended, and in section 502 there is a provision providing for the time for payment for estimated taxes.
>> thank you, ms. ellard. again, ms. ellard and mr. reif are here to answer any questions. are there any questions or other discussion? mr. levin? >> as i said in my opening statement, i very much support this agreement. i'm sorry mr. schock isn't here. i just want to say it's very mistaken to say that we should not into trade agreements take to the nation's. essentially what trade agreements due in large measure is nation's dictate to each other. that's what an agreement is. and we have an agreement required as to ipr, those are dictates, after customs, as to transparency, so it's really
wrong to simply say because it's worker rights we should not be dictating. indeed, what we are doing in agreements is setting standards for lots of things. and what we did in the peru agreement was to add standards as to labor environment. and those provisions now are in the panama agreement. the problem with panama, that their worker rights provisions were not consistent with basic ilo standards. and i'm sorry mr. ryan isn't here, because when he said he's more than embarrassed it took so long, the reason it took so long was that panama was in violation as made clear by ilo, department of reports, with basic international worker rights
standards. that's what held it up. and we begin to negotiate changes before the last administration, and i participated in, which were interrupted by an action by the panama legislature as to who was the speaker of the house. so we stopped. the obama administration picked this up, and we now have incorporated not only the language, but essentially panama has rectified its legislative provisions and its practices in terms of worker rights. ..
>> i think successfully, and i think in view of that, it's worthy of our support, and i hope there'll be broad bipartisan support within this committee. >> thank you. mr. brady's recognized. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i'm pleased, as you are, this day's finally come. the committee is holding its markup, the u.s./panama trade promotion agreement. for four years this agreement has remained in limbo, and i'm sure no one is happier today
than our longstanding ally, panama. the country has made significant leaps forward on tax transparency both by signing the tax information exchange agreement with the united states last year, and by joining the oecd list of countries that meets internationally-agreed-upon tax standards a list that includes the united states. panama has also made over a dozen changes to its labor code. panama presents significant opportunities for u.s. exporters. known as a logistics hub, panama is one of the fastest-growing economies in latin america. through this agreement our businesses, workers, farmers and ranchers will have greater access to the panamanian market to exhort in all sectors -- export in all sectors while creating job opportunities here at home. every day we've delayed implementation of this agreement and waited on the sidelines we've put our exporters at a competitive disadvantage losing american market share and
costing american jobs. we have seen other countries vigorously pursue their own regional and be bilateral deals to secure market access for their products and their services, but it is not too late to reverse this trend and regain our footing. mr. wright, how quickly can this agreement enter into force? and as a supporter of this, how can we make sure that we're able to recapture any lost ground for american farmers, manufacturers and service companies? >> sir, as is the case with the earlier agreement we discussed, the legislation provides that the agreement can enter into effect on or after january 1. we will enter into the process that was discussed a little while ago where the moment this legislation is enacted, um, our agency will move to reach out to the government of panama and discuss with them the steps that we believe that they need to take to complete the full implementation of the agreement so that we can, we hope, meet
that deadline as we work with them. but we want to get it right, sir. we need to make sure that the government of panama, just like the other governments, does what's necessary so that the full range of opportunities that our trade negotiators have negotiated and achieved in the agreement is open to american businesses, american farmers and to working people. >> well, having in my visit to panama, i'm very impressed with the growing, dynamic economy, with the service sector that matches up beautifully with the united states' service sector, the opportunity for expansion. both the united states and panama. and believe that it is, it is time to move this. i appreciate, too, the administration working together with republicans and democrats to create a strong bipartisan agreement, and with the passage of trade adjustment assistance as well as the other two agreements, looking forward to moving this bill very soon. i yield back. >> thank you. mr. mcdermott's recognized.
>> thank you, mr. chairman. the panama agreement tends to get overshadowed by much more commercially-significant korean agreement and the problematic colombia agreement, and so now it's panama's moment in the spotlight. before getting to my question to mr. reif, i'd like to lay out five reasons why i strongly support this agreement, and i disagree with my good friend from texas. we did not sit on the sidelines waiting. we have been negotiating. now, first of all, the may 10 agreement many of us fought for years to include strong and enforceable labor and environmental commitments to our trade agreements and to strike a better balance between access to medicines and incentives for new innovations. we finally won the battle several years ago with the so-called may 10th agreement, and this agreement reflects those changes. it was not in it originally. secondly, tax transparency.
panama has been a tax haven for many years. for six years the last administration tried -- and failed -- to conclude a tiea with panama. but using the leverage of the trade agreement, we managed to persuade panama to sign and fully implement a tiea. according to the economists, panama's ratification, quote, marks the most significant step to date on the road to ending four decades of virtual water-tight banking secrecy laws. that's not sitting on the sidelines. now, the third one, panama's labor laws, we insisted that the trade agreements not be considered until panama addressed a variety of deficiencies in its labor law. in april the panamanian president signed into law the last remaining changes to bring panama's lines into compliance with regulations. fourth, some early nafta
investment cases raised concerns about the rights of governments to regulate. but this agreement includes key provisions not found in nafta. for example, the trade agreement clarifies that environmental regulations generally are not considered expropriations requiring investor compensation. finally, the united states has consistently maintained a trade surplus with panama for over 20 years. $5.7 billion in 2010, and the trade agreement is expected to increase this surplus. so it's for those reasons that i support this agreement, but i have a question. because some have argued that the united states negotiated, quote, loophole-ridden, close quote, tax information exchange agreement with panama. they note, for example, that the tiea includes a broad, quote, public policy exemption that panama can abuse.
mr. reif, could you respond to that accusation? because we think we've tied it down, and it sounds like to some people it's still wide open. please, say for the committee and for the record what the status of that issue is. >> yes, sir. we did tie it down, and the administration, both administrations took the time to get this agreement right. the treasury department, the administration was not ready to sign until this to which is based on the model of the organization -- the oecd. all of our agreements are modeled on that. so is this one, it's no different than any others. all of them include that clause, it's a clause we include at our insistence. it is used in if only the most extreme circumstances, and there's very little record of it ever being used. it is certainly not a loophole that the government of panama could use or that we could use.
>> could you give an example of a circumstance which might make it used, might make it useful? someone might want to use it? >> it is, it is difficult to imagine. it could relate to, um, the basic essential security interests or economic security interests of a country. it is not something that a country could use to reinstate the kind of privacy protections that the tiea has along with panama legislation implementing the tiea wiped away. >> i, i appreciate your answer, and i think given the fact that we've spent the time we have on this particular agreement, this of all the three is the most ready for prime time and ought to be supported by everyone on the committee. i yield back the balance of my time. >> thank you. ms. jenkins is recognized. >> thank you, mr. chair, and i'd like to thank you and chairman
brady, ranking member levin and the rad manager, all the -- administration, all the staff and their work on this issue, and i look forward to supporting all three of these trade agreements. i'd just like to highlight here this morning the non-tariff barriers that impede u.s. ag exports that have been addressed here in this agreement. as i understand it, under the agreement panama will implement import measures on meat and poultry in a manner consistent with international standards. it will address other sanitary and photosanitary standards, and it will recognize the equivalence of u.s. meat and poultry inspections systems. the removal of these non-tariff barriers could also lead to increased market access for u.s. ag products. so, ms. ellard, would you mind briefly discussing how the implementing bill insures that panama will not receive the benefits of this agreement until
it lowers its own tariffs, addresses key non-tariff barriers and further increase access to u.s. ag products? >> yes, thank you, ms. jenkins. as you correctly note, the agreement provides all of these benefits with respect to the u.s. agricultural community. and section 101b of the bill provides that, um, the president -- the agreement does not enter into effect until the president makes a certification that panama has, in fact, complied with the terms of the agreement. and at that point there's an exchange of notes, and the agreement can be entered into effect. so as an initial step, um, that's very important to make sure the agreement doesn't enter into effect until panama meets these obligations. if for some reason after entry into force a problem develops, then there's a very robust dispute settlement mechanism beginning with consultations that will allow u.s. exporters to have their interests addressed. >> thank you.
i would yield back. >> are there any others who seek recognition? so that we all understand because the trade promotion authority governs this bill and south korean agreement and the panamanian agreement implementing legislation amendments are not in order during committee consideration. thus, there being no further members seeking recognition, i will now recognize mr. johnson for the purpose of offering a motion. >> mr. chairman, i move that the committee favorably report h.r. 3079 to the house of representatives. >> the question's on favorably reporting the bill. all those in favor signify by saying aye. >> aye. >> all those opposed signify by saying no. >> no. >> the ayes have it. the motion is agreed to, and as chairman camp noted earlier, a recorded vote is requested, sufficient number having favored a recorded vote. a recorded vote will be ordered
at the end of the completion of the markup today. the committee will now proceed to consideration of h.r. r.3080, the united states/korea free trade agreement which is distributed in advance along with section by section summary. without objection, this bill will be considered as read. i will now turn to ms. ellard to provide the technical description of h.r. 3080. i'd ask the members to hold their questions until after her presentation. ms. ellard. >> thank you, mr. chairman. the korea free trade agreement bill text as well as the text of the agreement itself, the statement of administrative action in the section-by-section were circulated in advance, and this, the bill text is identical to what was considered by this committee during the non-markup except for some small technical changes and provisions relating to the offsets. this bill is very similar to the two already considered by this
committee, so i will just very briefly summarize. title i contains the approval and general provisions which are identical to the prior agreements. title ii contains the customs provisions including tariff proclamation authority. um, and title iii contains the safeguard provisions. in addition to the safeguard positions in the other two agreements, it also contains a very important auto safeguard provision relating to motor vehicles. um, and title iv relates to procurement, and title v contains the offset provision. in particular section 501 increases the penalty on paid preparers who fail to comply with earned income tax credit due diligence requirements. section 502 contains the requirement for prisons located in the united states to provide information for tax administration. section 503 increases the ad valorem fee collected by cbp,
customs and border protection, with regard the merchandise processing fee. section 504 extends the passenger and conveyance processing fees and the merchandise processing fees. and, finally, section 505 contains the provision relating to the time for payment of corporate estimated taxes. >> thank you, ms. ellard. again, ms. ellard and mr. reif are here to answer any questions members may have. are there questions or discussions? chair recognizes mr. reichert. >> i thank the chairman. i saw mr. levin's hand go up, so i didn't want to usurp authority here. >> go ahead. >> thank you. well, first of all, i would just like to, again, thank everyone who's worked so hard on this, and there's -- we thank mr. reif and angela, ms. ellard.
and there's a woman sitting behind you that i think everybody who has been involved in this process that's been very key, and i want to just take a moment to thank wendy cutler who was in korea with me during our last visit and all the hard work that she's put into this effort. um, this, this is about jobs, and i just want to go back to a question that was asked earlier, mr. reif, on the jobs estimated itc 70,000 we know were a very conservative estimate. you pointed out that the services area was one, was an area that was undercounted or not counted at all. and i wonder if you could just make that point again very clearly to the members and to the american public who might be listening. >> yes. thank you, mr. reichert. the jobs estimate from the itc, the 70,000, is a highly
conservative estimate in our estimation, and that is because it measures only goods exports. and a key component of this, one of the most far-reaching components of our agreement with south korea is access to south korea's, um, half a trillion dollar services market. and it contains very important components of access in all areas of service, from financial services across the board. and this will, obviously, be an enormous benefit to our economy, to exports from our economy and to our services businesses and working people. so none of that is taken account of in the itc estimate. >> hard to put a number to that, or do you have an estimate? >> it is, it is, it has traditionally been difficult both to estimate services trade and to estimate the jobs related to services trade, so, no, the estimate is conservative because it does not include what is almost certainly a much more significant number.
finish. >> well, the whole idea is that i think all of us here want to buy american, but we should also really be wanting to sell american. that's what these three trade agreements are about today, is sell american. when we sell american, we have to produce more products, and if we produce more products to sell across the world, we have to hire more workers to make those products. therefore, this is a jobs bill. and i think that as we argue about the numbers we can, we can argue about the numbers, but the fact is that this will create jobs. the haas time that we -- the last time that we -- you know, the president wanted to double exports in the next five years. the last time that was accomplished was 1995 to 2007. and i think one of the most stark statistics in that period of time that really stands out is the fact that we were able to double exports because we passed
nine trade agreements. during that period. so we are on our way. we've got three on the table today, and we are on our way to helping the president and the country double exports. but one of my concerns, also, is that we are falling behind. and, um, i'm keeply concerned that america's falling behind our competitors as we heard earlier. 17% increase in trade between the e.u. and korea since july 1st. there's been a 50% increase in agricultural exports from other countries to colombia. we're losing our ground here. would you agree with that, mr. reif? >> well, sir, we're pleased to be moving forward with the agreement, and as the president has said, it's very important to have gotten these agreements right. and in the case of this agreement, one imperative that he has repeated a number of times is not only that we
continue to expand and liberalize our own trade, but that we be selling chevys and fords and chryslers into korea as well. >> can i interrupt just -- i'm sorry, just real quickly because i see i'm about out of time. a question would be how quickly then could this agreement be put into force? once it passes congress, then the administration has a responsibility. >> we will work, we are ready to work the moment that the bill is passed congress to reach out to the government, in this case the government of south korea, get to work to -- >> what's the time frame? >> that will depend in part on -- >> what's your estimate? >> i wouldn't, i wouldn't want to put an estimate to it. [laughter] i can tell you this, the president is eager to get these agreements into force. we need to get it right. >> great. thank you. i yield back. >> thank you. mr. reichert. ranking member levin. >> thank you. you know, in a sense it's getting late. the the last thing a trade
discussion should be is humdrum. they're so important, and they're full of life and full of contest and competing ideas. and so i think we need to bring to life what the korea free trade agreement's all about and why it had to be redone. by the way, it's a myth that all of our trade agreements have surpluses. in the industrial sector with mexico and others, there are deficits. so you have to get it right. and the problem with the free, the korea free trade agreement was there were always major benefits in services for sure. ag was more questionable because of beef. and in the industrial sector which was three-quarters of our
deficit, the automotive sector. it was one-way trade. they ship, korea shipped 5, 600,000 cars a year to the u.s., we were able to sell 5,000. and the europeans, not much better. they had all kinds of barriers to our exports. so the notion is just sign a free trade agreement, and those issues will be rectified was not correct. and that was too often the philosophy of the negotiation of free trade agreements, that if there were issues, they'd work themselves out. well, with the industrial sector they never were working themselves out. there was an iron curtain in the automotive sector and also refrigerators. we could not sell, our
manufacturers could not sell their basic refrigerator in korea while our market going to any store was totally open to their products. and we needed to change that. and, again, mr. reif has done somewhat modestly, but this administration decided that if you want to put it this way, two of thirds -- it wasn't even that, services, ag -- weren't enough or wasn't enough. we had to end the one-way street in the industrial sector in terms of american jobs. and the negotiations were difficult. at times a few of us thought we weren't being strong enough. to the credit of bob king of the uaw, alan mulally and a few of us, we worked with the administration and said, be strong. make sure the market's open. make sure it's a two-way street
instead of a one-way street. and i think that's, basically, what has been accomplished here as to an important sector of our economy, one that is helping grow our economy and needs to be able to export it products everywhere. so, mr. reif, let me ask you, there isn't much time, but indicate the major changes that were made in the automotive sector in the redone agreement. >> thank you, mr. levin. briefly, um, there are five major changes to the agreement that were made. first, um, we agreed to encourage green technologies by immediately cutting in half korea's tariffs on electric car exports and eliminating our tariffs altogether by the fifth year. second, we leveled the playing field by addressing the ways in which korea's system of
automotive safety standards, as you mentioned, had served as a barrier to u.s. exports for many years. third, we agreed that korea would immediately cut in half its tariffs on u.s. auto exports while our tariff on korean auto exports will remain in place until the agreement's fifth year n. the case of trucks, u.s. tariffs will remain in place until the eighth year. >> and that was done to make sure they opened up their market. >> that there would be an opportunity for u.s. exporters to compete in the korean market as these other changes, the changes in standards and the other changes that korea has committed to do on its own in the environmental area which were very important with our, with collaboration with the united states to elaborate an environmental standard that is also one that is, enables our exports to compete in their market. and finally, to put into place a safeguard mechanism so that the u.s. industry could be protects from any harmful import surges
from -- >> and this is, this is a safeguard mechanism for, for the motor, for the automotive industry, right? is. >> motor vehicles, that's that . >> there's a specific safeguard, and for those who are worried about shipping in korean vehicles with parts from, say, china, there's a safeguard in place if there were that kind of an influx based on cheap parts from some other country. >> there is -- >> so i want you to emphasize that because there's a tendency, i think, in all trade issues to distort. >> all right. thank you. time's expired. i appreciate this discussion on this agreement that really addressed particularly market access for u.s. awe -- automakers. and i just want to set the record straight that i and the ways and means staff, at that time the minority, were integrally involved in this
negotiation. >> very much. >> and i was very much a part of this, and republicans were very much -- i as then-ranking member was very much in favor of particularly the, um, the time period for south korea cutting its tariff in half on trucks and, also, the so of called safe harbor for the 25,000 vehicles that are deemed each year as compliant with south korean safety standards if they meet u.s. safety standards. and i think those are important points because of the history of non-tariff barriers and trying to get at addressing those. and i will say that was a mutual agreement between the u.s. government and the koreans, and the administration and mr. levin and myself were all -- as well as the uaw, as well as particularly mr. mulally from ford -- were all involved in this negotiation. so i just wanted to make sure that was clear. and mr. boustany's recognized for five minutes. >> thank you, mr. chairman.
we've heard over the past nine months about the importance of this agreement with korea, and i want -- but i want to step back for a moment and look at it from a strategic standpoint. we've seen a stalling of the doha round, and there's a lot of concern about what's next for the international rules-based trading system. we've seen a proliferation of bilateral and regional agreements especially throughout the asian, asia pacific region. and the danger is that we as a country in our businesses, our farmers are right now at a competitive disadvantage in many respects because of our lack of engagement in this area. and so from a strategic standpoint, this agreement is critically important. i think it's important that we move forward before the apec meeting in hawaii where the president will be there and as we try to really maximize our engagement in the asia pacific area. i know i've had conversations
with assistant secretary of state kurt campbell about the lack of leverage that we've had in dealing with china, for instance, and one of the most important things that he emphasized to me directly was the need to get this agreement done to help us develop more leverage throughout the asia pacific region. our leverage, our credibility are critically important. but also it seems to me ask and, mr. reif, i'd like your opinion, talk to me about how this agreement helps us build momentum for whatever comes after doha in terms of rejuvenating talk, basically, to build our international rules-based trading system. >> sir, this is the largest trade agreement the united states has entered into in more than 15 years, and i think that sends a clear message to our trading partners that we are engaged, we are open