Statement of Amb. Ron Kirk on Senate TPA Vote

~ On Senate cloture vote on trade promotion authority legislation ~

WASHINGTON – Former United States Trade Representative Ron Kirk issued the following statement regarding the 52-45 decision by the U.S. Senate not to proceed with debate on the Bipartisan Congressional Trade Priorities and Accountability Act of 2015 today. Ambassador Kirk is a member of the Advisory Board of the Progressive Coalition for American Jobs. 

“While the results of the procedural vote by the U.S. Senate this afternoon means the American people will not hear debate today on critical legislation that would enable President Obama to negotiate trade deals with our partners around the world, we’re confident our elected leaders will move the ball forward on trade promotion authority over the coming days. A growing number of Congressional Democrats are voicing their support for free and fair trade, and we expect that trend will continue. And recent polls have shown that Democrats across the country trust this President to represent their values when negotiating trade agreements that would expand the market for Made-in-America goods and services. 

“The fact is, our economy relies heavily on trade. The U.S. exported $2.35 trillion in goods and services last year alone – supporting more than 11 million American jobs. With 95% of the world’s markets beyond our borders, we have a responsibility to set tough and enforceable rules for our trading partners that will level the playing field for American jobs and American workers. 

“When it comes to trade in the 21st century, America has to continue to lead. The global economy is moving forward whether we participate or not. It’s time for Congress to clear the way for President Obama to negotiate modern trade agreements that will help protect the environment, improve labor standards around the world, and keep workers safe.”

A nationwide poll of Democrats released recently by the Progressive Coalition for American Jobs shows overwhelming support for President Obama's trade agenda. The poll, which surveyed likely Democratic voters across the country, found that 89% of respondents believe it is important for the United States economy that American companies sell products to other countries – and 64% of Democrats support giving trade promotion authority to the President. The poll also found 68% of Democrats would be more likely to vote for a Member of Congress who supports the Trans-Pacific Partnership. 

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The Progressive Coalition for American Jobs brings together progressives and Democrats committed to leveling the playing field for American workers and building a stronger economy for all of us. 

For more information, visit PCAJ.org.