November 03,1999

Roth Cheers Final Senate Approval of Africa Trade Bill

WASHINGTON -- Senate Finance Committee Chairman William V. Roth, Jr. (R-DE) today applauded Senate approval of the Africa trade bill, which passed the Senate 76 to 19 Wednesday evening. Before the vote, Chairman Roth submitted remarks for the record. The following is an excerpt of that statement:

"This is a comprehensive package. It includes the Senate Finance Committee-reported bills on Africa, an expansion of the Caribbean Basin Initiative, an extension of the Generalized System of Preferences, and the reauthorization of our Trade Adjustment Assistance programs. This bill has strong bipartisan support. It is consistent with the Administration's own proposal, as President Clinton has identified it as one of his top foreign policy and trade priorities.

"The reason it has this strong support, Mr. President, is because this legislation not only offers a solid package for Africa and the Caribbean Basin, but it is good for our people here at home. The textile industry says it will bring in $8.8 billion over five years and provide jobs for 121,000 Americans. And this is just the textile industry. Others will benefit, as well.

"This bill also incorporates requirements for the President to ensure that countries are complying with internationally recognized workers' rights. It encourages the President, under the same criteria, to press for a broader opening of the markets from the beneficiary countries. . . and as we all know -- trade and investment that is in the interest of these countries is also in the interest of ours.

"Mr. President, this is a good bill. It will encourage new economic opportunities and a path toward both political and economic renewal for the countries involved, and it will promote opportunity and economic growth here at home."

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