WASHINGTON DC -- Representative Mike Michaud (D-Maine), Chairman of the House Trade Working Group, issued the following statement today in response to the introduction of legislation by Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus and Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp granting the president "fast track" authority, which provides for preferential and expedited congressional consideration of trade agreements:
"The Baucus-Camp bill is a disappointing repeat of failed trade policy from 2002 that will continue the trends of growing trade deficits, a declining manufacturing sector, and the offshoring of American jobs. This bill may represent the ideas of the two committee chairmen, but it does not reflect Americans' views on trade and falls far short of being a truly bipartisan bill. That's why I will oppose it.
"This bill misses an opportunity to raise the standards established by Congress that our trade negotiators must meet, and it neglects to include real enforcement of these standards. It also fails to improve transparency and enhance congressional consultations by the Administration, both of which are critical for Congress to maintain its constitutional authority over trade policy.
"We know what happens when Congress passes this type of legislation granting fast track. Factories close, plants move overseas, and our workers are left behind. We simply can't afford to repeat the mistakes of the past."