Levin Statement on Trans-Pacific Partnership Negotiations
Ways and Means Committee Ranking Member Sander Levin (D-MI) made the following statement today regarding the Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations:
“My colleagues and I look forward to receiving a full report from Ambassador Froman on the progress that was achieved during the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations in Singapore. The TPP represents an important opportunity for the United States in knitting together economically an important region of the world, expanding opportunities for U.S. businesses and workers, and setting clear rules on a wide range of important issues impacting both competition in a globalized world, development, and the health and welfare of people.
"In order to achieve its potential it is vital that TPP effectively address outstanding issues and this remains far more important than any deadline. Clearly, critical work lies ahead.
“These vital issues include: real opening of the Japanese automotive and agriculture markets; the rules of origin for industrial goods, enforceable worker rights and environmental protections (“May 10th agreement”); access to medicines and other intellectual property issues; unfair trading practices that go to the heart of competition like currency manipulation, the need to include specific steps to address state-owned enterprises and the Vietnam labor market , investment and dispute settlement; treatment of cross border data flows and a regulatory framework that does not compromise our food safety regime.
“In the period ahead it is critically important that Congress be fully informed and actively and meaningfully involved as to strategy and substance as the United States negotiators work to bring these issues to an effective conclusion. The expired 2002 Trade Promotion Authority failed to ensure the effective involvement of Congress, and that must be remedied. Trade agreements today address a broad range of policy areas, so Members of Congress must play a role – and Congress as a whole must be a full partner in the development and oversight of trade agreements.”