June 25,2014

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Keith Chu (202) 224-4515 

Wyden Calls for Strong Trade Enforcement to Help American Business Compete

Finance Chairman Says More Tools, Resources Needed for Enforcement

WASHINGTON –Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden, D-Ore., at a hearing today called for new enforcement tools in order to help U.S. businesses compete in the global economy and create good-paying American jobs.

“Without strong enforcement, no trade deal – old or new – is able to live up to its potential for jobs and economic growth, and it becomes extraordinarily difficult to build support for new agreements,” Wyden said. “Foreign nations will continue locking American goods and services out of their markets, and foreign companies that get unfair backing from their own governments will continue undercutting our manufacturers, farmers and ranchers, driving hard-working Americans out of businesses and out of their jobs.”

When Wyden joined the Senate in 1996, the U.S. had only three free trade agreements – it now has 20 and is negotiating more, making the enforcement job both bigger and more important. As foreign companies and governments find new and complex ways to skirt trade rules, Wyden said, enforcement can’t fall short for the agreements already in place.

Wyden said better enforcement tools would identify and stop problems such as massive government subsidies to Chinese industries more quickly, before they cost American jobs. He continued to stress the need for better enforcement at our borders and the need for Customs and Border Protection to focus on its trade mission. 

“Proper trade enforcement is an increasingly difficult job. It takes time, and the fact is that it’s impossible to stand up a trade case in a single day. It’s essential for enforcement agencies to have the resources needed to do their jobs effectively,” Wyden said. “Too often, when these cases lag, American workers are losing their jobs and businesses are closing their doors. Succeeding in the global economy is already challenging enough; the U.S. cannot add to the difficulty by underfunding its enforcement efforts.”

Wyden’s full statement is available here.