Release Date: Jul 16, 2009Contact: 888-249-NEWS
U.S. Chamber Applauds Pledge to Enforce Trade Agreements
WASHINGTON, D.C.—In response to U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk's speech today outlining a multi-pronged approach to enforcement of trade agreements, U.S. Chamber of Commerce Senior Vice President for International Affairs Myron Brilliant issued the following statement:
"The U.S. Chamber agrees with Ambassador Kirk that trade agreements mean nothing if they aren't enforced. The jobs of millions of American workers, farmers, and companies depend on access to foreign markets, and vigorous enforcement of trade agreements is critical to ensuring that access.
"Ambassador Kirk is right to use all the tools in his enforcement toolbox, starting with consultations, which have already helped his team settle some long-running disputes. The toolbox also needs to include appropriate use of U.S. trade laws and the dispute settlement procedures of the World Trade Organization.
"But enforcement cuts both ways. The United States has not always lived up to its own commitments under trade agreements, as we've seen in the case of cross-border trucking with Mexico. Retaliatory tariffs have already cost thousands of American jobs. Keeping our own trade commitments gives us credibility when we call on others to keep their own.
"Finally, the Chamber hopes that labor groups seeking enforcement of labor principles included in the very trade agreements they opposed will see how useful they can be — and support passage of the market-opening trade agreements with Panama, Colombia, and Korea."
The U.S. Chamber is the world's largest business federation representing more than 3 million businesses and organizations of every size, sector, and region.
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