Trade3 June 2015

Notes from Norm: Pass Trade Promotion Authority

Republicans and President Obama standing together on an issue can only mean that the Devil is on skates.

With the President’s Liberal Allies accusing him of progressive sacrilege, Barack Obama finds himself seeking the leadership of Republicans in the Senate and House to ensure America’s rightful place in the global economy.

Despite efforts by Democrats in the Senate to derail Trade Promotion Authority legislation, Republicans made sure the bill was passed and sent to the House.

Trade Promotion Authority effectively gives the President the authority to “fast-track” trade agreements with our trading partners.

It’s a simple choice.  Either the United States is going to be a global leader in trade or we’re going to hand the baton to China and other countries that are more than ready to win the race for new trade opportunities.

During his most recent State of the Union Address, the President stated,”Twenty-first century businesses, including small businesses, need to sell more American products overseas.”

He’s right, and it is why the opposition of those in his own party threatens to stand in the way of new markets for American business.

Opposition that, if successful, will cost American workers jobs and further stifle economic growth.

Harry Reid, having lost the battle in the Senate to deny American workers and business to new markets, is now hoping that Nancy Pelosi will have more success in the U.S. House blocking Trade Promotion Authority.

The Office of the United States Trade Representative underscores the irony of the opposition Trade Promotion Authority is facing from the far left Democratic Party.

“For more than 30 years, Congress has enacted Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) laws to guide both Democratic and Republican Administrations in pursuing trade agreements that support U.S. jobs, eliminating barriers in foreign markets and establishing rules to stop unfair trade.

TPA does not provide new power to the Executive Branch.  TPA is a legislative procedure, written by Congress, through which Congress defines U.S. negotiating objectives and spells out a detailed oversight and consultation process for during trade negotiations.  Under TPA, Congress retains the authority to review and decide whether any proposed U.S. trade agreement will be implemented.”

The Trade Representative’s Office also makes some other points about the importance of trade:

•    Trade currently supports 38 million American jobs

•    One in three manufacturing jobs depends on exports, and one in three acres on American farms is planted for export.

•    U.S. services exports top $600 billion, leading the world rankings.

•    More than 97% of the 300,000 U.S. companies that export their products are small and medium-sized companies

•    Small firms account for more than one-third of all U.S. merchandise exports.

•    The expansion in trade spurred by FTAs sustains more than five million American jobs.

The President’s economic policies have led to the smallest labor participation in modern history – more and more Americans are working harder, making less, and falling further behind – and if Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi have their way in blocking Trade Promotion Authority things will get worse.

There’s plenty of reason for Republicans to deprive the President of the tools he needs to “fast-track” trade agreements.  His record of bypassing Congress on immigration, removing Cuba from the list of countries supporting terrorism and his naiveté in believing that Iran will live up to any agreement involving nuclear weapons are reasons enough to question his judgement.

Republicans can be forgiven for feeling as though President Obama has provided scant evidence that he can be trusted to negotiate any kind of treaty – trade or nuclear or otherwise.

But the job of the President – any President – is to negotiate trade agreements that will benefit the economic future of America.

Every President since FDR has had the authority for “fast-track” trade authority.

President Barack Obama President should have it.

Opposition from the President’s greatest enablers of his failed economic policies is great political theater.

The political Civil War between President and Democrats is their business.

Trade agreements are America’s business and its jobs.

The global economic competition America faces is a daily battle that requires America’s economy to have the most effective tools at its disposal to continue to prevail on behalf of our economy and the people of our country who need jobs.

When it comes to trade agreements, I wholeheartedly believe the President should be given the authority he needs to keep America competitive in a global economy.

Trade Promotion Authority is a critical part of that arsenal.