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New Democrat Coalition Releases Trade Task Force Goals for the 116th Congress

March 15, 2019 by TWN Staff
Hog farmer Greg Boerboom gives a tour of his hog operation, including his process for making the feed, on Tuesday, Sept. 4, 2018 in Marshall, Minn. (Elizabeth Flores/Minneapolis Star Tribune/TNS)

This week, the New Democrat Coalition Trade Task Force revealed their goals for the 116th Congress.

The task force works to advance a U.S. trade agenda that grows the economy, creates U.S. jobs, and ensures the United States sets the rules for a level playing field in the global economy.

Co-chaired by Representatives Ron Kind, D-Wis., Rick Larsen, D-Wash., Greg Meeks, D-N.Y., and Lizzie Fletcher, D-Texas, the task force said it will meet with key stakeholders and develop policy positions for the coalition to advance in both the near- and long-term.

The other members of the task force are Representatives Don Beyer, D-Va., Susan Davis, D-Calif., Veronica Escobar, D-Texas, Stephanie Murphy, D-Fla., and Terri Sewell, D-Ala.

The release included the Task Force’s mission statement for this Congress:

The New Democrat Coalition Trade Task Force is committed to maintaining the United States’ position as a global leader and supports smart trade policy that benefits American workers, businesses, farmers, and consumers. We must pursue a policy that promotes a competitive workforce, respects and strengthens our global relationships, brings outdated agreements into the 21st century, and promotes American excellence and values abroad. We also support reigning in the unilateral trade actions the administration has taken and reasserting Congress’ involvement in tariff policy. We need to continue setting the rules for the global economy, not have them set by others. In doing so, our Trade Task Force will focus on championing the economy of the future, not the economy of 50 years ago.

“Many of us have been through trade debates, and know it is not an easy lift to pass important and intricate trade deals,” Rep. Kind said.

“Finding a landing zone for our nation’s trade policy, and specifically the USMCA, will require the Administration to continue working with the New Democrat Coalition and the larger caucus to ensure all Members are heard and have outstanding concerns resolved,” he said.

Rep. Meeks said the task force is committed to modernizing U.S. trade agreements in a way that is both favorable to the nation’s workforce, its consumers, and its industries, while also fostering strong international relationships.

“We must be leaders in shaping the rules for trading goods and services so that we are primed to succeed in the economy of tomorrow,” Meeks said.

That point was echoed by Washington State’s Rep. Larsen who said as a member of Congress from a state whose economy depends on trade, it is his priority to support the local jobs it creates.

Rep. Fletcher agreed.

“As representative for a major trade center, I am committed to working to develop trade policy that recognizes the importance of trade in our economy and the opportunities trade agreements present,” she said. “I look forward to continuing to work with my constituents, the administration, and my New Democrat Coalition colleagues to ensure we have trade agreements that reflect lessons we have learned, build our economy, and provide economic opportunity for the American people.”

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