Transcript: Sen. Bob Casey’s remarks on the Democrats’ “Better Deal” economic agenda
Partial transcript of Sen. Bob Casey’s (D-Pennsylvania) remarks on the Senate Democrats’ “Better Deal” economic agenda. The press briefing was held on Aug. 2, 2017:
Thanks very much. A Better Deal for America starts with a lot of what my colleagues have reviewed today and one of those priorities that we have to focus on is re-negotiating NAFTA but seriously re-negotiating NAFTA, not just some kind of a re-write of TPP. We need a serious effort.
I think most people out there who look at what’s happened on – with regard to trade deals over time feel like they’re left out. Workers are left out of the negotiation room. Working families who don’t have a voice in that room need to be included.
So, we believe that the administration should negotiate in an open and transparent manner, that the public should be regularly given detailed information about the negotiations so they know what is at stake at every step of the negotiations.
The United States Trade Representative’s staff should hold town hall meetings open to the public in at least 10 different states to discuss specific NAFTA priorities before any draft text can be finalized.
The American people and Congress must know what the administration seeks to achieve in the agreement before and throughout the negotiations. So that’s critical. That process is critical.
In addition to that, of course, when you talk about NAFTA, we’ve got to make sure, as my colleague, Sen. Baldwin, said that we have strong Buy America standards and that we also have strong, enforceable labor standards and wage standards in addition to environmental standards and so many others that seem to be left out of too many negotiations.
Second, with regard to China, we know in Pennsylvania, all too well, that when China cheats, Pennsylvania loses lots of jobs. That’s been happening for far too long.
When countries cheat, whether it’s China or any other, we have to make sure that we go after them with everything that we have.
Number one, we should make sure that the administration will insist on quick and definitive action on behalf of steel and aluminum producers to make sure that they have a level playing field.
And finally, we need to hold companies accountable when they ship jobs overseas.
When you ship jobs overseas, there should be a consequence when you seek a federal contract.
When companies outsource jobs, they should pay a tax for moving those jobs overseas.
When a company does the right thing and brings jobs back here in the United States, they should get a tax incentive.
So whether it’s cracking down on this issue or cracking down on China cheating or re-negotiating NAFTA, we have a long way to go to make sure that we’re doing everything we can here in the Congress in a bipartisan fashion.
And the administration needs to be consistent with what the president said when he was campaigning to make sure that we re-negotiate NAFTA in a serious way…