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Ryan on TPA: ‘You’ve Got to Do It Our Way, Mr. President.’

June 03, 2015

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WASHINGTON — Following the Senate’s passage of trade promotion authority (TPA), House Ways and Means Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) has been continuing his push to get TPA passed by the House and enacted into law. Earlier today, he spoke with America’s Newsroom’s Martha MacCallum to reiterate why TPA is so important for getting new trade agreements, how it holds the president accountable to Congress, and how these new agreements could help grow our economy and create better-paying American jobs. Excerpts from Chairman Ryan’s remarks follow.

‘You’ve got to do it our way, Mr. President.’

“What trade promotion authority is, it’s just a process on how you get a trade agreement. And the reason you need trade agreements is we need to open markets to our products, so we can make more things in America and sell them overseas, especially since 95 percent of the world’s consumers don’t live our country—they live in other countries. And by not getting trade agreements, that means other nations are getting better agreements for their countries and then we lose market share; we lose markets to sell our products into. So, what TPA is, it’s a process on how you do it. And what we are saying as House Republicans, as Senate Republicans, is, ‘You’ve got to do it our way, Mr. President.’ The agreements have to be the kind of agreements that we want, people in Congress get to be able to see what’s in the agreements, and then, when there is an agreement, the country gets to see it for 60 days before it’s even considered, before a president can sign it. Then we vote on it, and then Congress decides, up or down, whether we do it or not.”

Standing up for America’s credibility

“Trade is America. This is an issue of American leadership, and, as Republicans, we want to be in favor of American leadership and engagement in the world. The rules of the global economy, they’re being written right now, Martha. The question is, ‘Who’s going to write them?’ Are we going to write them by getting trade agreements where we get other countries to play by our rules, to agree to our standards? Or do we do nothing and let China write the rules, which is not in our interest?”

Think of it this way. . . . 

“We don’t like the Iran deal that President Obama is doing. Imagine if we had TPA for the Iran deal that he’s negotiating. If we had TPA for the Iran deal, we would know what’s in the deal, the country would see what’s in the deal, and Congress would have veto power over the deal before he even gets a deal. I wish we had TPA for this Iranian agreement because then we could stop this Iranian agreement. That’s why we’re doing TPA for these trade agreements.”