WASHINGTON – Former U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary and Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius issued the following statement in response to the trade promotion authority legislation introduced last week by Senators Orrin Hatch and Ron Wyden. Secretary Sebelius is a coalition member of the Progressive Coalition for American Jobs.
"I am pleased to see leaders from both sides of the aisle coming together to support the Bipartisan Congressional Trade Priorities and Accountability Act of 2015. Giving trade promotion authority to President Obama would not only pave the way to trade agreements that support good-paying jobs in the United States – it would help make important advances in meeting health needs around the world. The legislation introduced last week breaks new ground with key provisions to protect American innovators while expanding access to vital medicines for our global trade partners.
"Here at home, trade promotion authority is a critical step toward negotiating 21st century trade agreements that open new avenues for trade with our partners overseas. During my nearly two terms as governor of the Sunflower State, I saw the impact that trade and a modern economy can have on expanding opportunity for Kansas families. Exports support millions of jobs in Kansas and across the country – many of them in the agriculture sector. It's no wonder that dozens of agricultural groups have come out in favor of passing trade promotion authority, which will empower the President to pass trade agreements that lower tariffs on agricultural goods and make our products more attractive beyond our borders. New markets for Kansas farmers mean new opportunities to grow our economy overall.
"In the United States and across the globe, we can and should be doing more to ensure people who work hard can achieve their dreams. Passing trade promotion authority is an important first step – and I urge Congressional leaders to act quickly on this bill."
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.