Original Press Release
NAM Welcomes Bipartisan Agreement to Improve Trade Adjustment Assistance
Press release date: February 5, 2009
Measure Can Help Clear Way To Approve Pending Free Trade Agreements
WASHINGTON, D.C., February 5, 2009 -- National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) Vice President for International Economic Affairs Frank Vargo today made the following statement in response to an announcement by Senate Finance Chairman max Baucus (D-MT) and Ranking Member Charles Grassley (R-IA), and House Ways and Means Chairman Charles Rangel (D-NY) and Ranking Member Dave Camp(R-MI) , of an agreement to expand and improve the Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) program which provides training and other benefits to workers adversely affected by trade:
I compliment the leadership of the two committees for forging a bipartisan compromise on such an important issue. The NAM supported the Ways and Means legislation in 2007 for TAA, and we are firmly convinced that it has an important place in ensuring American workers remain the most competitive and productive workers in the world.
The NAM is committed to providing those American workers with new opportunities and new skills. Particularly in these times of economic downturn, we strongly support this measure that can help put Americans back to work.
Now that an agreement on TAA has been reached, I ask the U.S. Senate to swiftly pass the amendment and include it in the final stimulus bill, and for the U.S. House of Representatives to also quickly approve the language.
I was heartened last year to hear Chairman Baucus indicate that he was supportive of moving forward on the trade agenda once TAA was resolved. I hope that we can now look forward to taking swift action on the three pending bilateral agreements - with Colombia, Panama and South Korea - and begin the process of approving them.
Exports are a key part of the U.S. economy, a part that will help lead us to stronger growth and recovery. The surest way to increase our manufacturing exports is to open new and growing markets, like those in our pending FTA partners. One in five American jobs depends on exports - it's time to stimulate that sector of our economy as well.
The National Association of Manufacturers is the nation's largest industrial trade association, representing small and large manufacturers in every industrial sector and in all 50 states. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., the NAM has 11 additional offices across the country. Visit the NAM's award-winning web site at www.nam.org for more information about manufacturing and the economy.
HANK COX (240) 432-5952