President Obama says failure to pass Trade Adjustment Assistance will eliminate benefits for as many as 100,000 American workers. Rough cut (no reporter narration).
ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) President Barack Obama said that growing the U.S. economy is his top priority as president. In his weekly address he said one way to do that is to pass new trade agreements, "that level the playing field for our workers, open new markets for our businesses, and hold other countries to the kinds of high standards that Americans are proud to hold ourselves to here at home." "America has to write the rules of the 21st century economy in a way that benefits American workers," he said, warning that if the U.S. doesn't write the rules, China will write them to its benefit. Obama applauded House Republicans and Democrats for voting on Friday to help the U.S. negotiate new trade deals, but he said the House also needs to take action on Trade Adjustment Assistance, which provides education and job training to workers hurt by past trade deals. "Republicans and Democrats in the Senate have voted to renew this initiative, but so far, the House of Representatives has chosen to let it expire in just a few months, leaving as many as 100,000 American workers on their own," Obama said. The President said Congress must reconsider and stand up for American workers.