Grassley Floor Statement on Hatch's Legacy
*NOTE: Sen. Hatch’s response to Sen. Grassley’s remarks are included at the end of the video linked below. A transcription of Hatch’s remarks is immediately below.
HATCH: Mr. President, I want to thank my dear colleague from Iowa. He is one of the greatest senators I’ve served with and he is just a wonderful friend and a wonderful senator. He has worked his tail off the whole time he’s been here. So, I am grateful for your kind remarks, it means a great deal to me.
Prepared Floor Statement by U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa
Senator Hatch’s Legacy Paves Way for American Prosperity
November 27, 2018
Mr. President. I am here today to give thanks. Just a few days ago, Americans across the country celebrated a national day of thanksgiving. We celebrated food, fellowship and freedom with family and friends. By any measure, we are a people endowed with an abundance of blessings. As Americans, we have every reason to be grateful to share in the prosperity of economic freedom, religious liberty and self-government.
Today, I want to extend my gratitude for one of the most distinguished public servants ever to serve in the United States Senate. It is my distinct privilege to stand here today to pay tribute to my good friend and colleague from Utah, Orrin Hatch.
He is a man widely known for his integrity, character and temperament. He is devoted to his family, his constituents and his country. With overwhelming support from the good people of Utah, he has served Americans in the U.S. Senate for 42 years. In those four decades of service, he has brought honor, humility, humor and heart to this institution. He has honed his legislative expertise on a broad range of public policy. In fact, none of his peers has led more laws to final passage than my friend, Senator Hatch. He has built successful bipartisan coalitions to enact laws that make a difference in the lives of everyday Americans.
As former chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee and current senior member, he is a champion of religious liberty and the rule of law. He is an advocate for entrepreneurship and free enterprise, as well as a champion of intellectual property rights. That includes being the lead Senate sponsor of the Music Modernization Act. He’s just old enough to know when laws aren’t keeping pace with technology. Thanks to his tenacity, the new law will help ensure songwriters, artists and creators will be fairly compensated for their works.
Like so many Americans, Senator Hatch is a man of humble beginnings. He embraces the promise of prosperity and opportunity that makes America the beacon of the free world. And that brings me to the basis of my remarks today.
From his decades of service and chairmanship at the helm of the Senate Finance Committee, Senator Hatch has shouldered some pretty heavy lifting in the legislative trenches to advance free and fair trade laws to foster economic growth and opportunity.
America is home to 320 million people. That’s a fraction of the world’s population. And yet, America leads the world in economic output. Thanks to an amazing bounty of natural resources and an economic foundation that rewards ingenuity, productivity and creativity, the United States produces goods and services that consumers around the world want to buy.
Senator Hatch and I share a core philosophy: lowering taxes and trade barriers is a winning formula for prosperity. To paraphrase a philosophy often attributed to our 35th president: A rising tide lifts all boats. Today I want to give credit where credit is due. Thanks to Senator Hatch’s unflinching leadership and unwavering commitment to advance principles of free and fair trade, America’s formula for opportunity and prosperity stands strong for generations to come.
Mr. President, it’s virtually impossible to recall any trade policy in recent history that does not have the fingerprints of my esteemed friend Senator Hatch all over it.
In fact, he led the renewal of the Bipartisan Congressional Trade Priorities and Accountability Act of 2015. It paved the way for a robust, transparent review of trade negotiations. Like Senator Hatch, I understand America needs to speak with one voice on the world stage for effective, lasting trade agreements. We also agree on the constitutional authority of the legislative branch to maintain oversight of trade agreements. Consultation with Congress is a focal ingredient to ensure America’s workers, job creators and consumers benefit from the global economy.
Senator Hatch also steered through bicameral, bipartisan trade legislation that updated our customs laws. It authorized the U.S. Customs and Border Protection to strengthen travel and trade enforcement at our borders. Passage of the Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act of 2015 holds our trading partners accountable. It preserves the twin pillars of America’s most important economic assets: innovation and intellectual property. Putting in place effective tools to protect IP and thwart counterfeit and illicit products from infiltrating the supply chain protects U.S. consumers, workers and job creators.
Senator Hatch understands that trade agreements can do more harm than good without proper enforcement. Unfair trade can lead to bad trade. That is bad for America. Tax and trade cheats undermine our economy. Senator Hatch has worked tirelessly throughout his years at the helm of the U.S. Senate Finance Committee to weed out wrongdoers and sow the seeds of accountability and transparency in our international trade regime. Protecting U.S. patents, copyrights and trademarks are essential to U.S. innovation, investment and prosperity in the 21st century.
Senator Hatch also has worked to eliminate barriers to trade that help developing nations create more open economies. His long-time commitment to renew the Generalized System of Preferences helped lower input costs for U.S. job creators and manufacturers.
On Senator Hatch’s watch, investment and opportunity has grown around the world. That rising tide includes the African Growth and Opportunity Act and other trade agreements that facilitate economic development and democracy in developing nations. Expanding market access is good for America. As my manufacturers and farmers in Iowa tell me time and again. They want the opportunity to compete in every market for every sale. Americans want to do business on the world stage and compete on a level playing field. Thanks to Senator Hatch’s leadership with the Trade Extension Preferences Act of 2015, we expanded market opportunities in developing countries. Once again, a rising tide lifts all boats.
And when things haven’t gone according to plan, Senator Hatch has worked effectively to strengthen U.S. trade remedy laws, including updates such as electronic reporting requirements to hold bad actors to account and to protect the health and safety of consumers for imported goods and services.
Building on passage of the American Competitiveness Manufacturing Act of 2016, Chairman Hatch also led the way to further reduce trade barriers, boost economic benefits and foster competition for U.S. businesses, service providers and manufacturers. The Miscellaneous Tariff Bill of 2017 untangles the burdensome red tape of inter-agency petitions and enforcement that can make or break a business due to unfair trade shenanigans. It strengthens transparency and fairness to help American manufacturers and their workers compete for business. In a nutshell, this law helps U.S. businesses to stay in business.
At the end of the day, that’s what fuels the U.S. economy. The opportunity to compete for every sale, in every market.
Mr. President. Senator Hatch will leave behind a remarkable legacy and a big gavel.
From one public servant to another, Senator Hatch, I am grateful for your service. You have an impeccable record and long list of achievements that will lift the tide for generations to come. Thank you for all you’ve done for your state, your country and this institution.
To my dear friend, from the bottom of our hearts, Barbara and I are grateful for your friendship.
Mr. President. I yield the floor.