Congressman Bill Pascrell

Representing the 9th District of NEW JERSEY

Pascrell Statement on House Vote Narrowly Approving Fast-track Trade Authority

Dec 6, 2001
Press Release

WASHINGTON - Rep. Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ-8) issued the following statement regarding today's 215-214 vote in the U.S. House of Representatives to pass H.R. 3005 and give the Administration fast-track trade authority, known this year as "Trade Promotion Authority":

"Sadly, the House today passed a bill that is contrary to the best interests of our workers here in the United States.  It will foster trade agreements that will continue, not reverse, the exodus of American jobs to other countries.  This bill fails to make a commitment to labor rights and environmental standards, and abandons Congress' constitutional obligation to regulate trade with other nations.  

I don't oppose trade.  What I oppose are trade agreements that are not reciprocal. What I oppose is a bill that makes the Congress a 'silent partner' in the crafting of trade policies that directly affect those I represent. 
By the very narrowest of margins, the House chose today to take a significant step backward in the pursuit of fair and balanced trade policies for America.

Since the House passed NAFTA using fast track authority eight years ago, we've lost over 3 million trade-related jobs. Giving the Administration fast track will only exacerbate the losses felt by our manufacturing sector. We should be working to reverse policies that hurt our manufacturers here in America, not facilitate them.

This bill had a fancy new name this year, but it was just as wrong as in years past, and the House should have voted to defeat it."