HOYER ANNOUNCES SUPPORT FOR CHILE AND SINGAPORE FREE TRADE AGREEMENTS

For Immediate Release:

July 14, 2003

Contact:Stacey Farnen
202-225-3130

WASHINGTON – House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer (MD) released the following statement this morning announcing his support for free trade agreements with Chile and Singapore:

  “The House, later this month, will likely consider the recently negotiated free trade agreements with Chile and Singapore.  I support each of these agreements and will vote for the required implementing legislation.

 “In general, I have advocated free trade and open markets because I believe that American businesses and workers can compete and win in the global economy.  Furthermore, I believe that increasing global interdependence presents our nation with an opportunity to promote democratic reform, the rule of law and respect for basic human rights.

 “These trade pacts with Chile and Singapore will eliminate all remaining barriers to the markets of these important partners, with whom we enjoy nearly $40 billion in annual trade.  This improved access will benefit American companies and their employees, ranging from aircraft manufacturers and automakers to medical equipment suppliers and agricultural producers.

 “Additionally, U.S. telecommunications, computer services and financial firms are among the many that will benefit from substantial service sector market access commitments made by Chile and Singapore.  Both agreements also provide significant intellectual property rights protections for American software designers and the entertainment industry.

 “I have and will continue to support free trade agreements that strike the balance of expanding markets for American companies, while also providing a level playing field for American workers and improved living and working conditions for foreign workers by guaranteeing fair wages and basic workplace protections abroad.  I am confident that these goals will be met with respect to Chile and Singapore.

 “I will consider future trade agreements one at a time, taking into consideration the specific labor and environmental conditions that exist in the countries 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 will determine my position as those agreements are finalized.”

###