There is a confusing mess taking place in Washington right now. The debate over free trade has exploded, and it certainly seems to have become a very tangled web. The loudest dissenters in the debate are almost all liberal democrats arguing against President Obama’s proposed trade agreements. There are also quite a number of Republicans who are fighting the moves because they worry that this could be a backdoor into more illegal executive actions.
A few weeks ago Senator Ted Cruz tried to add some clarity to the situation for conservative voters.
Now, I support TPA. And the reason I supported Trade Promotion Authority, is that I support free trade. When I campaigned for the senate I campaigned in support of free trade I told the Texans who elected me over and over again – I believe free trade benefits America and increases jobs. It benefits farmers, it benefits ranchers and it benefits manufacturers. We opened up foreign markets.
In the state of Texas, there are some three million jobs that depend on international trade. We see in a very real sense the benefits of trade. We’re at it at time of economic stagnation where we’ve got right now under Barack Obama the lowest labor force participation since 1978. We need jobs and growth and history has demonstrated that without fast track it is proven practically impossible for any president Democrat or Republican to negotiate a free trade agreements. The reason being that foreign nations don’t negotiate with the president if congress on the back end can add a bunch of amendments, after they’ve negotiated an agreement. So fast track provides is that if a trade agreement is negotiated it comes up in congress just votes up or down.
That has been for over eighty years the only way free trade agreements have been enabled in the past.
TPA is six year legislation, now a lot of people have said, the question you’d guess that’s “why on earth would you vote to give Barack Obama anymore now. And why would you trust Barack Obama?” Let me be clear. I don’t trust Barack Obama. At all. But Obama is going to be in office for just nineteen more months. Trade Promotion Authority is six year legislation. If we want the next president, who I hope as a Republican, Frankly I hope is me… Who have fast track authority the only chance. To get it was now. Because the Democrats would vote on a straight party line vote to prevent any Republican…
Still many conservatives are very worried about the secretive nature of the trade agreements, which Wisconsin Rep. and former Republican VP nominee Paul Ryan did his best to explain on Thursday.
“It’s declassified and made public once it’s agreed to. And if we don’t get TPA in the next session, we will have gone twelve years without negotiating a new trade deal. That means at the dawn of the 21st Century, be it China or Europe, other nations will go around the world writing the rule book for the global economy, instead of America and our allies. It would be a travesty if we allowed that to happen. The consequences of not getting trade [promotion authority] at this, the dawn of the 21st Century, at a moment when the global economy is being formed, I think people understand these consequences. It makes the petty political issues of the day pale in comparison.”
The TPA isn’t the best option on free trade, but it’s as good as we’re currently going to get, and if we don’t act now, China will move to dominate trade in Asia – which would not be difficult for them to do. Despite the secretive nature of the trade deal, it is in our best interest to get this deal passed.