WASHINGTON, DC – House Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer spoke on the House Floor today in favor of H.R. 4759, the United States-Australia Free Trade Implementation Act. The following is Representative Hoyer’s statement as prepared for delivery:
“Mr. Speaker, this important free trade agreement will enhance the already strong economic ties that exist between the United States and Australia. I support this agreement, and will vote in favor of the required implementing legislation.
“This pact has been called the ‘Manufacturing FTA’ because of the extent to which the U.S. manufacturing sector will benefit from the expanded market access provided by the agreement. Perhaps most importantly, more than 99 percent of remaining Australian duties on U.S. manufactured goods will be lifted the day the agreement takes effect.
“It is estimated that this immediate tariff elimination will result in an additional $2 billion in annual exports to Australia, already one of the world’s largest single markets for U.S. goods. This improved market access will benefit American companies ranging from aircraft manufacturers to automakers to construction equipment suppliers.
“Manufacturers, however, will not be the only beneficiaries of this agreement. All U.S. agricultural exports to Australia will receive immediate duty-free access. And market access will be provided to American telecommunications, computer, energy and financial services companies, among others.
“Mr. Speaker, I have and will continue to support free trade agreements that balance the need for expanding markets for American companies with the importance of providing a level playing field for American workers. We must consider the specific labor and environmental conditions that exist in the countries that we seek to trade with, as well as the provisions included in the agreements to protect workers – both here and in the other countries – and environmental concerns.
I am confident that these goals will be met with respect to Australia.”