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tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  January 28, 2015 5:00am-6:02am EST

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been nafta has been mentioned here before. if we had to negotiate it all over again we'd probably do some things differently. the point that you made earlier today is that we do have the opportunity here to negotiate nafta at least in part maybe in whole. i'm not sure. but just drill down on that particular -- how do we -- people say it hasn't been all that helpful to the u.s. it's been, i think arguably very helpful to mexico. they have a vibrant middle class today. there are probably as many mexicans going into mexico as there are mexicans coming into the u.s. today. i think it's arguably been pretty good for the mexicans, not entirely bad for us but sort of a mixed bag. but in terms of one issue mentioned by senator isaacson in poultry, we have a real problem in nafta with canada as you probably know. just drill down on the things that we know now about nafta. what can we do differently and
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what are we going to do differently with respect to the trans trans transpacific trayspartnership. >> nafta was 20 years ago. lots has changed in the global economy and global trading system. first and foremost one lesson that we've learned is labor and environmental issues need to be core to the agreement they need to be fully enforceable just like any provision of the trade agreement. that's exactly what we're doing with tpp but not just with canada and mexico but 40% of the global economy. so we're spreading the enforceable provisions to over half a billion workers around the world. that reflects a very meaningful evolution of the global trading system where labor and environment where 1one considered to be side issues now they are central and fully enenforceable. it has also given us the ability to go back and address market issues that we couldn't address.
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we're still negotiating. we have a ways to go. we have made progress with canada that this is an area that we want to see on tpp. some of the intellectual property rights issues that have evolved over time or the digital economy issues that have emerged before there was an internet economy. this gives us an opportunity to renegotiate and update our approach in all of these reflects. >> thank you. senator shumer raised some serious concerns about enforcement mechanisms. there's an old saying the latest justice denied. i think you've made that we brought about 18 cases to the wto. those have been resolved have been resolved in our favor. can you give us a break down of out of the 18 how many have been resolved and how many are still outstanding? >> i believe seven have been resolved fully through the process. all of them in our favor. we just recently won the case with argentina on import licensing as senator isaacson we
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won a case on poultry in india. we have won up till now. we feel confident in our aproext approach approach. we're trying to resolve in consultation. we're waiting for the other ones to go through the system. >> is there anything we can could in congress to expedite the amount of time it takes to resolve the issues? >> i think the key thing with tpp we're able to have our hone dispute settlement mechanism among tpp countries we have a strong mechanism that we're negotiating with our partners one with firm timetables and schedules an one we hope to find expedited resolutions. >> the reason why senator isaacson, yours truly, senator carden and warner continue to focus on poultry is it is a huge
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industry. we have three counties in delaware. we raise more soy bean in any country in america. we want to make sure that we can sell them to as many markets as possible. the last thing i just want to say, i want to re-emphasize a point made on bio logics. you and i had an opportunity to discuss this earlier this month, maryland delaware pennsylvania, our other states, new jersey right along this row here have huge interests. tens of thousands of jobs depend on our ability to have a fair settlement and free agreement with respect to bio logics. i would just continue to raise that issue with you. thank you. >> senator, i apologyizeapologize. i passed over you to call on him. i didn't mean to do that. thank you very much for being patient for me. i call on senator coats and then is it would be roberts in that order. >> mr. chairman. no apology needed. i'm happy to yield to my friend
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and colleague from delaware. >> i owe you one. >> i am new. trying to figure out the rules here in terms of -- i rushed over to be here on time. get my name on the list. you saw me, i had to go out and make a quick stop at another place and come back. and then i thought oh, i got the rules wrong must go back and forth between parties. that's fine whether me. i appreciate your apology. not necessary. ambassador, thank you first of all for dijligent work on a very tough subject but a very important issue for the economy and for the future of our country and many many people from my state and many states that rely on trade for their well being and their lifestyle and for our economy. in indiana we are a big export state, getting this right means a great deal to many, many
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hoosiers. several hundreds of thousands approaching a million whose jobs are there because we are willing to export. agricultural products, steel, auto products, pharmaceutical products medical devices and a whole range of other products that are produced in my state so i wish you nothing but success. i am a strong supporter of trade. i want to affirm that some of the reservations that have been expressed here by my colleagues relative to making sure we have a level playing field and we've established the rules and they are accepted and enforced will be important. but my question to you is this. at the state of the union one of the things that brought republicans to their feet faster than anything else that the president said was his announcement that he wanted to go forward at gain of trade promotion authority and move these trade agreements forward. to get this done on my
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experience it's got to be all in. it's got to be above partisan politics, done in a bipartisan way. there had been some reservations raised about prolimbationclimations from the white house in tirmerms what they will support and what they won't support. i want to make sure that we're all in. if we're all in we can get it done. all in means that republicans and democrats need to work together here in this committee and the ways and means committee in the house. our colleagues have to work together to bring this home and the president and the administration. can you affirm to us that the president is all in on this. that the administration is all in that you have the support that you needed from your administration in order to work with us to get this accomplished? >> yes senator. both the president has made clear both publically and privately, he's been meeting with folks privately as well. we also have a structure now at the white house.
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organizing a whole administration effort involving virtually the entire cabinet to promote the entire trade agenda. talking to members about tpp and what's in tpp and addressing their concerns and their questions, and talking about the importance of moving ahead on a bipartisan basis with trade promotion authority as well. so i have a great deal of support from the president on down. it's a priority for him. we want to work on a bipartisan basis. make sure we're addressing concerns of democrats and republicans as we move this forward. >> well, i'm happy to hear you say that. i think the voters in november sent a very strong message towel all of us on both sides to get it done. get something done. i think this ranks very close to the top in terms of things we can get done that will make a measurable improvement in terms of economic growth and providing jobs for people. so thank you for that. i wish you nothing but the best and we look forward to working with you. >> thank you senator. >>
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>> mr. chairman, the senator from kan issas has been waiting, i defer to him first. he's after me. >> the ranking member -- senator roberts, i'm sorry. >> well i want to thank the senator and it is remarkable but it isn't remarkable as a matter of fact. i just appreciate it. senator coats has pretty well summed up what i was going to say at the first of my comments and so i would just like to reiterate that this committee is all in. and you've heard that with the strong statement from senator hatch. you heard it with a strong statement from senator widen who represents the great state of oregon but was born in kansas and you heard it with pertinent questions from senator grassly. senator grassly, i ask you this
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and this is of interest to the sometimes powerful agricultural committee, a package soon on agriculture. what's soon? >> well, the market access negotiations are proceeding in parallel with the negotiations over the text. over the rules. literally as we speak, our negotiators are meeting with the other 11 countries on both sets of issues. the market arcccess negotiations are done and we meet one on one with the other countries. >> i know that. what's soon. i know it's hard to predict and i'm not trying to put you on the spot? >> well our view is the timetable should be set by the substance. we think everybody should be focused on trying to get it done in a short period of time in the next couple of months. >> all right. you say that but here we have -- i'm not going to shumerize you. i want some questions back and
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forth. you have really made issue on this on china making arguments but we had 43 members of the senate write you a letter on the gi issue. the geographical indicators by prohibiting the use of common generic food names such as farmparm a balognie. where are we on that the gis? >> this is one of the toughest outstanding issues still in tpp because we in the eu have die amettically opposed positions. europe sells hundreds of
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millions of dollars in the u.s. and we don't sell any in europe so we've been out there fighting hard to make clear that we can have a system where countries can take into account. common names and trade marks before we grant any geographical indications. that's the only way to balance the perspectives of the united states and eu. our challenges, is our trading partners are negotiating with us but they also want to negotiate and have good relations with the european union. they are stuck in the middle. we're trying to find a middle naj path that will protect our trade names. >> i appreciate that. let me bring up the bio tech situation. there are currently 12 products awaiting final approval. the queue is growing. the european commission announced the intention to conduct a review of the entire u oe pi an bio tech approval process. there's concern that the 12 products pending final approval will not advance. the eu is like calling for instant replays on every play.
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that's just not going to work. would you comment on that, please? >> well, we share that concern. we've raised it in our meetings with the european union. i've had now three meetings with my new counterpart, the trade commissioner. we've made clear that these are products that our own european food agency have determined are safe. they have an obligation to the wto and under the european justice decisions to move ahead with the approvals. we're encouraging they will to move ahead as quickly as possible. >> i'd like to repeat. thank you for answering these questions and repeat what senator coats said again. i think we have a unique opportunity here. you've done some excellent work and i thank you pour that. i think you know that they every member of this committee is behind you. each of us have our own initiatives that we're interested in but i worry that the president state of the
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union, seven veto messages but we were on our feet on the trade issue to help the middle class as senator shumer said. so we're in. i hope the president is. i thank you for the job you do. >> thank you mr. chairman. ambassador, thank you for your efforts to engage the chinese and agricultural bio tech issues over the last year e. it's critically important to american farmers and the senator from kansas and iowa who spoke to this issue both in regard to china, we want to continue to emphasize how important those efforts also and also with the t-tip agreement with the eu, it's going to be very hard, i think, to get that agreement through unless we give american farmers more certainty with regard to the approval process for bio technology products. so anyway i want to make that point. i also want to just speak to an
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issue last year in brookings, south dakota, we welcomed the opening of a state-of-the-art cheese plant it's a 170,000 square foot facility. employing 250 people with the hope of more in the future especially if we can bring down what are very high barriers to u.s. barry prode diary products in canada. as you know canada's diary market was not sufficiently open as part of the many tariff rates range from 200 to 295%. i want to strongly urge you to continue pushing on our friends to the north when it comes to market access for cheese and other diary products. i guess i would appreciate any thoughts that you might want to share on that subject. >> well this has been a high priority for us and forbefore canada joined tpp we had a dialogue about how this is going to be an important part of a successful outcome. we are engaged with them on a whole range of outstanding
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issues. they know this is important to us and we are working towards hopefully a successful conclusion there. >> it would be very helpful. diary businesses in places in the midwest is starting to explode in some ways. we certainly want to see more of that and all the jobs that come with it but these tariffs are pretty prohibitive. you made remarks last june in which you highlighted data localization requirements as a significant problem for u.s. service companies working to expand into foreign markets and to compete globally. i agree with your view on that matter. i'm concerned about tpp not fully addressing those types of barriers for u.s. financial services companies such as banks and insurers and specifically i understand that tpp won't explicitly prohibit our trading partners for requiring finance service firms to set up local data center as a condition of doing business in their markets. that's a serious concern.
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i am wondering if your office can work with mine to krebt thiscorrect this oversight and to insure that this admission is not repeated in other negotiations in t-tip and tisa. >> we're happy to work with your office and continue to pursue our efforts to put disciplines on localizition and insure free data across boarders but we're happy to work with your office on that. >> it's a big issue and the europeans in particular, it's an area that they are really -- for reasons unrelated i think to trade, really trying to create some of these barriers. i think that would be a big mistake and certainly make it more difficult for a lot of or businesses service ibndustries and financial services being a good example to continue to do business in that part of the world. could you just quickly comment on -- its an issue i brought up with you before about the eu's decision on february 13th to
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impose a 10% duty on ethanol and what steps usgr is taking to bring that case to the wto? >> well, we've engaged in dialogue with the eu about that. we've not yet resolved it. we're hoping to with the new commission in place to reengage with them on this and part of our overall discussion in t-tip about areas of cooperation to try and bring that to a conclusion as well. >> okay. thank you mr. chairman. i would echo what's already been said, we really need to get tpa done and i hope that the president talks about it. talks about it in the state of the union address but we really need the administration engaged up here trying to help us as we push this across the finish line. thanks. >> senator casey. >> thank you mr. chairman. ambassador thanks for being here. thanks for your service on a tough issue which we all have deep concerns about as it relates to not only our states
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but country overall. i wanted to start with a premise or a foundation upon which i will make determinations about these agreements. and that is that in my home state of pennsylvania despite promises and assertions in the lead up to trade agreements too often, our state has gotten the short end of the stick. we can debate how that happened. we can debate the reasons for that but i have real concerns and real skepticism which i know we've talked about. and at the same time, when it comes to what i call the short end of the stick, either job loss or dislocation or workers not getting basic fairness when it comes to these agreements, that's bad enough in and of itself but then they see very
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powerful and well financed special interest in this town especially but in other places as well, who don't get the short end of the stick. they do quite well. so i have that concern that skepticism. frankly, it's more than a skepticism. it's real worry. and then when we come to the question of well, okay, let's try to mitigate that somehow by remedies, trade remedies that play out in the trade cases that are brought even when we're successful, it seems that we're never where we ought to be as it relates to those workers. so i have real concerns. i know you understand that that the playing field never seems to be level when it comes to our workers. i know earlier you spoke to -- or spoke and answered a question from the panel that the improvements to labor rights or
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environmental protections or ip standards, but the question i have got to get to is a question of jobs. just when you look at the context of china, here is just some data between 2001 when china joined the wto in 2013 just roughly 12 years, the trade deficit with china increased by $240 billion or $20 billion a year. when that plays out for pennsylvania we rank fifth in total net job loss or net jobs displaced, i should say, by trade with china. so how do you answer the question that these agreements and the path that you're on is good for workers in pennsylvania? well, thank you senator. you know pennsylvania's goods exports are now $41 billion. they've grown by 150% over the
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last ten years. more than 200,000 pennsylvanias are employed by export related businesses 15600 firms export from pennsylvania. almost 90% of them are small and medium sized businesses. the question is with these trade agreements, we can create more opportunities for these kinds of businesses. if you take all of our fta partners as a whole, we have a grade surplus. that surplus has grown. our trade deficit as you note, is largely comprised of countries with whom we do not have trade agreements. so trade agreements are our way of shaping forces of globalization, of opening markets because our market is already quite open. our average applied tariff is a 1.4%. we don't use regulations as a disguise burrier to trade but other countries do. if you just look at pennsylvania's exports. sort of the five top areas your exports, chemicals, 35% tariffs in some of these markets. pennsylvania exports $5 billion
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of these products. those tariffs will go to zero. minerals and fuels. 30% tariffs in some of these markets. pennsylvania exports $4 billion of these products. that tariff will go to zero. metals and ores, 35%. it goes on and on and on. but we will get through this trade agreement is open up markets and level the playing field so we can protect workers protect american jobs and insure a fair and level playing field by raising labor and environmental standards raising intellectual property right standards and enforcement. making sthurure we are putting on disciplines on the type of practices that pose a real threat to workers in pennsylvania. >> well, i have no doubt about your intention. the problem is that some of this we've heard before and you mentioned some industries or some economic sectors in our state but when i look at whether it's sugar or solar panels or furniture or tires or paper or
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probably the best example would be steel which is economic as it relates to our state, we've had time and again promises made prior to the trade agreements and then efforts after the fact to bring enforcement cases that have never commensurate with the promise that was made and i would argue that as much as you want to level the playing field i would hope we could level the playing field long before we have trade agreements in place. but we will continue to talk and i appreciate your time. >> well, thank you senator. we will now go to the senator portman. >> great thank you mr. chairman. i appreciate your being here ambassador. i thank you for what you do everyday and what your team of professions do to open up markets for the workers i represent and the farmers i represent and the service
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providers i represent. we had some discussion earlier from some folks in the audience about how this affects people who are frustrated about the lack of wage growth, concerned about whether they are going to have a job at all going forward. all i can say is i think you just answered the question well if we're not selling to the 95% of the world outside of our boarders, we're letting our people down. we do have relatively low barriers here as you said but the rest of the world has a lot of barriers and that's not fashir. what you do everyday to knock down those barriers is what we want more of. i will give you one example. we have a little company in ohio, we opened up the trade for at a meat plant. these jobs pay on average 18% more and also have better benefits. the agreements that we talked about today people say some agreements are good.
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some are bad. i'm sure we can improve all the agreements that we've made but the reality is that we send 45% or more of our exports to 10% of the world. because we only have trade agreements with 10% of the world. we don't have a trade agreement with china or japan or europe and we have a surplus with these countries countries. we've got to figure out a better way to open more markets. it's unbelievable that we haven't had the ability to open any more markets since seven years ago since trade promotion authority expired. every president since fdr has had ability to open up markets by trade negotiating authority until this president. he has now asked for it. we as americans, ought to say republicans, democrats independents, whatever, we want our president out there opening up mark epts.markets. during that seven years there had been seven negotiated. we're left out of them. you mentioned china. out of that 100, china has at least 14 of those agreements
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that they have negotiated during that time period. one of them by the way is with with ten different countries. we're not part of it. so our workers are getting left out. i don't know how we're going to make progress in terms of affecting this concern on stagnant wages lack of benefits, high expenses unless we do a better job of selling that those countries all around the world. we don't do a good job. we're somewhere between eveningethiopia and tanga. to mayingke progress on leveling that playing field. as you know you've been very helpful with me on this. we've had a couple of good successes in the last year alone on two products, steel pipes we make in oihio, we want to keep
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making them. so it's a balance here. we've got to both get more exports out there but also do a better job of making sure that imports are being fairly traded. i've got so many questions for you. i will submit most of these questions in writing but they are all about ohio workers and ohio farmers. ohio service providers who want to know what can we do to open up more markets to then. a quarter of factory jobs in ohio are now export jobs. we want that to increase because they are good paying jobs. i will ask one more question. i appreciate all you've been doing. there's one that does concern me and that is currency. when i was sitting in your seat i got asked by shumer who spoke a little earlier, he did give me a chance to respond before type was up. this was almost 10 years ago probably but he asked me about currency. i said yeah, i think it does affect trade. it affects it negatively.
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i know it's not your area in a sensement sense. the secretary of treasury has responsibility for currency. but the does this report from others around the world and said new trade agreements should explicitly include currency manipulation that change rates should not be able to subsidize one parties exports at expense of the others. what are your views on currency and what can we do on trade agreements going forward? >> thank you senator. thank you for so much leadership on trade and being a great source of advice and guidance. currency is a great concern to us. it is a top priority. there's no difference of opinion about that. we think it's important that countries move towards market determine exchange rates. that there's not a misalignment of exchange rates. the treasury department the
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president, everyone on down has been focused on that bilatterly with countries like china after pushing they will to move their currency in june of 2010, we began to let their currency appreciate and it has appreciated about 15% in terms against the dollar. not fast enough. we need to push toward full market determined rates. the g 7 money ministers got together and said you may want to stimulate your economy but you've got to do it through domestic actions for domestic purposes. the bank of japan has affectively done so. it has an affect on currency as well but they have done the same kind of thing that our federal reserve did with quantityative easing. this is a very important issue. we need to find the right ways of achieving the results. we're fully committed to do that
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in the administration. there's a wide range of views in congress and on this committee about how to best address this issue. we're looking forward to continue that dialogue. >> my time is up. i hope you will put some time and effort into it. the issue is intervention. i do think that currency is something that more and more of us on this side of the aisle and that side of the aisle certainly, are going to be concerned about because it does affect trade. it affects our ability to have that level playing field that we taked about today. thank you mr. chairman. >> thank you. senator. >> thank you very much mr. chairman. i do want to talk about currency. i know there's
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