The decline in American export activity over the last several years has cost our country between one and two million jobs. Clearly we must reverse this trend as part of our overall strategy for full employment and economic growth. To accomplish this goal, our government needs to be more effective in promoting fair and free world trade.
Many American companies are facing foreign trade barriers and anti-competitive practices by foreign companies, such as lavish subsidies for investment and research and development, tariffs and the "dumping" of goods overseas below actual cost.
The United States must work to build an international finance and trade system that better defines fair-trade relations among nations.
We need to convince our trading partners that it is in our mutual interest to engage in a serious reorientation of world trade. High on the agenda should be fair valuation of currencies and a more efficient mechanism for resolving trade disputes.
Congress should adopt legislation like the proposed reciprocal trade and investment act, which will provide the president with negotiating authority and access to expedited legislative relief in reaching fair-trade agreements.
Until foreign barriers are broken down and America's own economic recovery is in full swing, I believe that we must protect American workers from unfair foreign competition.
That is why I have cosponsored the domestic-content legislation in the Senate which will send a strong signal to Japan and other countries that they must trade fair.
Without this clear signal, American industry and American workers will continue to lose out both in the international marketplace and here at home.