Senate Bill Calls For Major Changes In Trade Policy

Five Democratic senators and one Independent are supporting legislation calling for sweeping
changes in US trade policy, similar to legislation that has been introduced in the House with 127

The Senate bill, entitled the Trade Reform, Accountability, Development and Employment
(TRADE) Act, mandates a review of existing trade agreements and provides for more Congressional
involvement in future trade agreements as they are being negotiated, and it establishes guidelines
to ensure that all agreements are effectively implemented.

Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, the Independent sponsor of the bill, said: “As a result of
our disastrous trade policy, millions of decent jobs have been shipped overseas, turning American
jobs into our number one export. We need to do everything possible to reverse this trend and
develop a new trade policy that reduces our record-breaking trade deficit and increase American

Other sponsors of the bill are Sens., Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, Bob Casey, D-Pa., Byron Dorgan,
D-N.D., Russ Feingold, D-Wis., and Jeff Merkley, D-Ore.

Like the House version of trade reform legislation, the Senate bill directs the US Government
Accountability Office to conduct a comprehensive review of existing trade agreements with an
emphasis on economic results, enforcement and compliance. It also spells out standards for labor
and environmental protection, safety standards and national security considerations. Another key
provision calls for the President to submit a negotiating plan to Congress prior to entering into
negotiations and provides for more congressional oversight with respect to implementation of

December 15, 2009