May 22 2015
Washington—Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) today voted for final passage of trade promotion authority legislation, which will enable the president to negotiate free trade agreements, including the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).
“International trade and California’s economic growth go hand-in-hand,” said Feinstein. “In California, trade has already proven to create jobs, raise wages, expand small businesses and drive our economy to be the eighth-largest in the world. With trade promotion authority, the president can finalize a trade deal that lowers other nations’ barriers to our exports while raising their labor, environment and human rights standards. From Silicon Valley to Hollywood to the Central Valley, California’s industries and workers stand to benefit greatly from increased trade, especially with our Pacific Rim neighbors through the TPP.”
Of all the states, California is the top exporter of services and agricultural products, and second behind Texas for merchandise exports.
- Today, more than 75,000 California businesses export out of the state, and 95 percent of those are small- or medium-sized.
- Since 2009, trade-related jobs have increased by 11 percent to 775,000 last year.
- California’s technology and creative industries have fueled a growth in services trade by 58 percent since 2006.
- Trade has also led to wage increases, as research shows firms that export pay their employees 15 percent more than those that do not.
“Fair trade is only fair if it is enforced. There must be clear rules of the road, and that is exactly what the trade enforcement bill does. ” Feinstein said. “The Senate overwhelmingly passed this bill; it’s now time for the House to follow suit and for this legislation to become law—it will only strengthen our overall trade policy. For example, rules against child labor, dumping and trademark infringement all must be enforced in a trade bill.”
The trade enforcement legislation includes key provisions such as:
- Ending the importation of goods made with child or forced labor.
- Authorizing new tools to more quickly investigate and respond to unfair trade practices, such as dumping and illegally-subsidized exports.
- Enabling Customs and Border Protection to better protect copyrights and trademarks.
Trade Adjustment Assistance
“It is especially important that Trade Adjustment Assistance be included in the legislation,” Feinstein said. “By reauthorizing the program for $450 million per year, we will provide support for those workers displaced by trade and dedicate funds for job training—funds I will continue to push for each year as a member of the Appropriations Committee.”