Washington, DC – The National Foreign Trade Council (NFTC) and USA*Engage today released their 112th Congressional Report Card, scoring Members of Congress based on their votes on key international trade and engagement issues in 2011 and 2012. Unlike the 111th Congress, which collectively received an “incomplete” due to a lack of positive action, the 112th Congress received positive scores – 64 percent of Senators and 43 percent of Representatives received an A or B – for enacting trade legislation critical to U.S. economic growth and job creation. While the House and Senate enacted several important bills, most of them involved either long-pending free trade agreements or reauthorization of existing programs. Congress did not take up any new major trade initiatives.
“Compared to the 111th Congress, the 112th has made significant strides on the trade front over the past two years,” said NFTC President and USA*Engage Co-Chair Bill Reinsch. “Important legislation that had been stalled for more than four years – including the free trade agreements with Colombia, Korea and Panama – was enacted, illustrating that this Congress worked together in a bipartisan manner to advance the U.S. trade agenda, helping to boost U.S. economic growth, increase exports and support American job creation.”
The Report Card scored Senators on eight votes, including:
The highest scorers in the Senate included Sens. John Boozman (R-AR), Dan Coats (R-IN), Dean Heller (R-NV) and Richard G. Lugar (R-IN).
With respect to Members of the House, votes on the following pieces of legislation were considered:
Top scorers included Reps. Bob Dold (R-IL), Doc Hastings (D-WA), Jared Polis (D-CO) and Harold Rogers (R-KY).
“While there were a number of positive trade-related votes, we are disappointed that there has been no action on final approval of legislation granting Russia permanent normal trade relations (PNTR),” Reinsch continued. “We continue to strongly urge Congress to take action on Russia PNTR immediately when Members return to Washington in November, and we look forward to what should be a heavy trade agenda in 2013.”
Today’s Report Card is being released as an interim report. A final report will be released at the end of the congressional session.
*NOTE: If you would like additional commentary or an opportunity to speak with NFTC President Bill Reinsch, NFTC Vice President Dan O’Flaherty or USA*Engage Director Richard Sawaya about the Report Card, please contact Jennifer Cummings at 202-822-9491.
USA*Engage (www.usaengage.org) is a coalition of small and large businesses, agriculture groups and trade associations working to seek alternatives to the proliferation of unilateral U.S. foreign policy sanctions and to promote the benefits of U.S. engagement abroad. Established in 1997 and organized under the National Foreign Trade Council (www.nftc.org), USA*Engage leads a campaign to inform policy-makers, opinion-leaders, and the public about the counterproductive nature of unilateral sanctions, the importance of exports and overseas investment for American competitiveness and jobs, and the role of American companies in promoting human rights and democracy world wide.
About the NFTC
Advancing Global Commerce for Nearly A Century- The National Foreign Trade Council (www.nftc.org) is a leading business organization advocating an open, rules-based global trading system. Founded in 1914 by a broad-based group of American companies, the NFTC now serves hundreds of member companies through its offices in Washington and New York.
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