Senator Collins Casts Vote To Debate Trade Legislation

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Susan Collins voted today in favor of proceeding to debate the trade bill before the United States Senate. After the vote, Senator Collins released the following statement:
“I voted for the motion to begin debate today because the legislation included an extension of Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) which expired at the end of 2014. This critical extension, which I co-authored with Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR), has been essential to workers who have lost their jobs through no fault of their own. In 2013 alone, more than 700 Mainers benefitted from the TAA programs.
“My vote should not be construed as signifying support for either Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) or the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP).  I remain very skeptical about granting the President TPA as it paves the way for TPP, which could in turn threaten many American jobs.
“I am especially concerned about Maine’s shoemaking jobs, some of which could be jeopardized by TPP.  New Balance, for example, employs nearly 900 workers at three Maine factories.  Every briefing that I have received on TPP has left me concerned that these workers could be severely disadvantaged by this trade deal. I am concerned that TPP will end up penalizing companies like New Balance that have remained committed to American manufacturing, rather than moving all of their production jobs overseas.  
“Notwithstanding the vote today, unless it differs substantially from where it appears to be heading, I will very likely oppose TPP when it is considered by the Senate.”