Washington, DC – USA*Engage and the National Foreign Trade Council (NFTC) today honored Rep. Kevin Brady (R-TX) for his leadership on international trade and U.S. global engagement issues. During the 14th annual USA*Engage luncheon, Congressman Brady was recognized for his commitment to the U.S. trade agenda through advocacy of legislation to further open markets abroad to U.S. goods and services and “smart sanctions,” in his role as House Ways and Means Trade Subcommittee Chairman.
“USA*Engage has since its founding stressed the political, economic and security benefits of a U.S. government and a U.S. business community that are actively engaged around the world,” said USA*Engage Co-Chair Del Renigar, who also serves as Senior Counsel for International Policy & Trade at General Electric. “This is why it is so important and such an honor to be here today with Congressman Kevin Brady. He understands that American economic engagement abroad is what helps make America great and he knows what it takes to get there – free trade. He is leading the fight for the Colombia, Panama and Korea free trade agreements and is pushing for more trade and more U.S. exports around the world.”
During his acceptance of the USA*Engage / NFTC Annual Award, Rep. Brady delivered the following remarks regarding the U.S. trade agenda:
“International trade provides new and expanding markets for our goods and services and increases the competitiveness of our companies and workers through global supply chains. Trade also allows consumers to get the most value and variety for their hard-earned dollars. I am glad that we are finally getting off the sidelines and moving forward with a proactive trade agenda. Since January, we have made more progress on the trade front than in the prior four years.
“…The need to act is urgent. Colombia, Panama and South Korea are negotiating and completing agreements with other countries. Unless we pass and implement our agreements soon, we know that America and our farmers, ranchers and workers will be left further behind. We have already lost market share because of our delay, particularly in Colombia…. Trade officials and business people from around the world have told me that the United States and this Administration in particular will simply not be credible on trade until the three trade agreements are passed.”
Rep. Brady concluded his remarks by discussing the importance of “smart sanctions,” stating “We need to work together to promote smart sanctions that achieve our desired ends….We must make sure that the understandable desire to punish a rogue regime is not acted on without understanding the consequences – in particular the impact on U.S. policy and stakeholders as well as on our efforts to change behavior through multilateral pressure.”
Annually, USA*Engage recognizes a lawmaker who has enhanced America’s national and economic security by promoting active global engagement and multilateral solutions to some of the most challenging foreign policy and trade issues facing the United States. Past honorees include Reps. Jim Moran (D-VA), Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) and Jeff Flake (R-AZ), Sens. Richard Lugar (R-IN) and Mike Enzi (R-WY), then-Sens. Chris Dodd (D-CT) and Chuck Hagel (R-NE), and former Reps. Lee Hamilton (D-IN) and Cal Dooley (D-CA).