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Congressman Capuano's
E-UPDATE
An update from the office of U.S. Representative Michael E. Capuano
8th Congressional District of Massachusetts


8,321 subscribers

October 14, 2011

Trade Agreements

This week the House considered three trade agreements. The first, H.R. 3078: the United States-Colombia Trade Promotion Agreement Implementation Act reduces most tariffs between the United States and Colombia, reduces barriers for services and seeks to enhance Colombia's labor and environmental enforcement standards. My concern with this agreement has to do with human rights issues: I just don’t think that the agreement goes far enough to ensure an end to the targeted abuse and killing of union activists in Colombia. A side agreement has been negotiated with Colombia to improve their labor standards but it has not yet been fully implemented and it is not formally included in H.R. 3078. I voted NO. H.R. 3078 passed and the entire vote is recorded below:

  YEA NAY PRESENT NOT VOTING
REPUBLICAN

231

9

0

1

DEMOCRAT

31

158

0

3

TOTAL

262

167

0

4

MASSACHUSETTS
DELEGATION

0

10

0

0

The House also considered H.R. 3079: The United States-Panama Trade Promotion Agreement Implementation Act. This agreement reduces most tariffs and duties and increases intellectual property protections. It is intended to enhance Panama’s labor and environmental enforcement standards. My primary concern with H.R. 3079 is that it doesn’t address Panama’s status as a tax haven. Concerns have been raised that foreign companies could set up in Panama in order to get better access to the U.S. market. I voted NO. H.R. 3079 passed and the entire vote is recorded below:

  YEA NAY PRESENT NOT VOTING
REPUBLICAN

234

6

0

1

DEMOCRAT

66

123

0

3

TOTAL

300

129

0

4

MASSACHUSETTS
DELEGATION

3

7

0

0

Finally, the House considered H.R. 3080: the United States-Korea Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act. This agreement reduces most tariffs on trade between the U.S. and South Korea and reduces barriers for services. It does not significantly reduce existing barriers to U.S. beef exports, despite an agreement to allow more U.S. beef into South Korea. I am concerned about this particular agreement because of the impact it could have on American jobs. While it is estimated that this trade agreement could create 70,000 jobs, it could also eliminate 159,000 U.S. jobs, resulting in a net job loss. I could not support this agreement. I voted NO. H.R. 3080 passed and the entire vote is recorded below:

  YEA NAY PRESENT NOT VOTING
REPUBLICAN

219

21

0

1

DEMOCRAT

59

130

0

3

TOTAL

278

151

0

4

MASSACHUSETTS
DELEGATION

1

9

0

0

More on Trade

The House also considered H.R. 2832: Generalized System of Preferences/Trade Adjustment Assistance Act. This legislation extends the Generalized System of Preferences and reauthorizes elements of the Trade Adjustment Assistance Act through December 31, 2013. Trade Adjustment Assistance programs provide retraining and other help for workers who have been laid off due to the impact of foreign competition. The Generalized System of Preferences reduces costs for U.S. consumers and manufacturers in certain overseas markets where we don’t have free trade agreements. This measure recognizes that trade agreements can impact local workers in a negative fashion and puts assistance in place to try and lessen that impact. It was overdue for reauthorization. I voted YES. H.R. 2832 passed and the entire vote is recorded below:

  YEA NAY PRESENT NOT VOTING
REPUBLICAN

118

122

0

1

DEMOCRAT

189

0

0

3

TOTAL

307

122

0

4

MASSACHUSETTS
DELEGATION

10

0

0

0

EPA

This week the House also considered H.R. 2250: the EPA Regulatory Relief Act. This bill is yet another attempt to weaken the Clean Air Act. It cancels existing EPA rules requiring industrial boilers and incinerators to reduce pollution emission, giving the industry more time to reduce their pollution output. In addition to ending existing regulations, H.R. 2250 makes it harder for the EPA to issue new standards and guarantees that any new standards would be weaker. I voted NO. H.R. 2250 passed and the entire vote is recorded below:

  YEA NAY PRESENT NOT VOTING
REPUBLICAN

234

0

0

7

DEMOCRAT

41

142

0

9

TOTAL

275

142

0

16

MASSACHUSETTS
DELEGATION

0

10

0

0

What’s Up Next Week

A District Work Week has been scheduled. Next votes will occur on Monday, October 24th.


Congressman Mike Capuano
8th District, Massachusetts
Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure
Committee on Financial Services

P.S. I welcome your feedback on our e-Updates. Please let me and my staff know what you think of this service by e-mailing our office.


District Offices:

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and
Roxbury Community College, Campus Library, Room 211

District Office Phone:

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DC Office:

1414 Longworth Building, Washington, DC 20515

DC Office Phone:

(202) 225-5111

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