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Ways and Means Members Write Op-Eds in Support of Trade Promotion Authority

April 29, 2015

Trade promotion authority, or TPA, is quickly becoming a well-known term both here in Washington and throughout the nation—the case for increasing transparency, accountability, and leveling the playing field for American workers through better trade agreements grows stronger by the day. As the conversation goes on, it’s clear that more trade will create better jobs and more opportunity. Echoing this point, members on both sides of the aisle on the Ways and Means Committee are voicing their support for the Bipartisan Congressional Trade Priorities and Accountability Act of 2015 through op-eds in local, statewide, and national publications.

Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI), along with Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), explains in the Wall Street Journal how TPA will put Congress in the driver’s seat, giving lawmakers more say over agreements that are vital for economic growth:

“Under TPA, Congress lays out three basic requirements for the administration. First, it must pursue nearly 150 specific negotiating objectives, like beefing up protections for U.S. intellectual property or eliminating kickbacks for government-owned firms. Second, the administration must consult regularly with Congress and meet high transparency standards. And third, before anything becomes law, Congress gets the final say. . . . TPA makes it clear that Congress—and only Congress—can change U.S. law.”

Trade subcommittee Chairman Pat Tiberi (R-OH) details how TPA will deliver the best deals for American business and workers in The Delaware Gazette:

“It’s important to understand the benefits of trade as the United States is currently negotiating trade agreements with 11 Asia-Pacific countries, 28 member countries of the European Union, and 22 other countries for a Trade in Services Agreement. What’s often not talked about is that overall we have a trade surplus with the 20 nations we already have trade agreements with. Access to even more consumers would help American businesses grow. Agreements with the Asian-Pacific and European nations alone would open markets to nearly 1 billion consumers. But to move forward with these agreements, Congress needs to pass what’s called Trade Promotion Authority.

Rep. Kevin Brady (R-TX) writes how Texas and America are built for trade in The Kingwood Observer:

“This trade touches more than three million Texas jobs and 40,000 of our local businesses. Over the past decade Texas exports are growing twice as fast as the Texas economy. These trade-related jobs are paying more than average jobs and are more likely to survive in tough economic times.”

In The Seattle Times, Rep. Dave Reichert (R-WA) showcases how a bipartisan trade agreement will lead to economic growth in the U.S.:

“In order to conclude [TPP] and ensure a high standard and comprehensive agreement, Congress must first pass trade-promotion authority (TPA). TPA is the tool that directs our negotiators to secure the best deal possible based on input from the American people through their elected representatives. I encourage our manufacturers, farmers and businesses across the state to engage in support of TPA because it is the linchpin for a successful trade agenda.

Rep. Charles Boustany (R-LA) penned an op-ed in the The Hill discussing how trade is a catalyst for American leadership on the global scale:

“Trade helps the U.S. establish better relationships with international partners, building investment opportunities and encouraging stability. Trade agreements not only fuel a need for cooperation, they provide stability through strong free-market economies and a rules-based order. The United States must lead in setting the global standard for this rules-based order.”

In the Tampa Bay Times, Rep. Vern Buchanan (R-FL) writes about the necessity of new and improved trade agreements:

“To help pave the way for passage of this important Pacific region trade bill, Congress is expected to vote this month on separate legislation that allows for streamlined consideration of trade agreements. This bipartisan bill (known as Trade Promotion Authority) ensures an open and transparent process that protects American workers and employers. . . .We need to do everything in our power to increase America’s competitiveness in the global marketplace. Without it, tomorrow’s good-paying jobs will be created in other countries.

Rep. Adrian Smith (R-NE) tells readers how TPA will open opportunities for agriculture producers in the Norfolk Daily News:

“Nebraska’s Third District is the number one agriculture district in the nation. To remain the country’s agriculture leader and continue to grow our rural economy, we need to open more markets to Nebraska exports. With more than 95 percent of the world’s customers living outside our country, TPA is the first step to breaking down barriers for America’s hardworking producers.”

Rep. Erik Paulsen (R-MN) discusses the importance of passing TPA now in Red Alert Politics:

“If we fail to act now, the rules of the game may be set by other countries, and not to the benefit of hardworking Americans. By passing TPA, we can make sure that everybody plays by the same rules and that everybody wins.

In the Black Hills Pioneer, Rep. Kristi Noem (R-SD) highlights the positive impact trade agreements will have on farmers and ranchers:

“For farmers and ranchers, trade agreements open new markets.  We grow more than we can sell here at home. There’s no reason not to take advantage of that abundance – especially as nearly 96 percent of consumers are outside the U.S.

New committee member Bob Dold (R-IL) expresses in The Hill that small businesses should champion TPA:

“With dozens of new countries opened to trade for U.S. exporters, small businesses across the country would be better equipped to take advantage of the global market. At a time when we are all looking to strengthen our economy and promote economic growth, these agreements would create billions of dollars’ worth of exports and lead to the creation of jobs in communities across our country.

In The Oregonian, Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) coauthored a piece with Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) touting TPA:

“We are pushing for new agreements that tear down the walls for Oregon innovators and pave the way to growing middle-class jobs and paychecks in our state. With 95 percent of the world’s consumers outside of the United States, it’s clear that getting into new markets is the best way to sell more made-in-Oregon goods.

Rep. Ron Kind (D-WI) highlights the benefits Wisconsin reaps from trade in the Wisconsin State Journal:

“Consider the fact that more than one out of every five Wisconsin jobs is tied to exports. Nationally these jobs pay better — almost 20 percent better, on average — than their non-trade counterparts. In fact, of Wisconsin’s 8,581 exporters, 87 percent are small- and medium-sized companies. In agriculture alone, we are the second-leading state in dairy exports in the country. New trade agreements can open the door for more American workers to grow their paychecks.”