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Ryan Separates TPA Fact from Fiction on Fox & Friends

June 11, 2015

6 11 15 Paul Ryan Fox and Friends

WASHINGTON — Earlier this morning, House Ways and Means Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) spoke with Fox & Friends about tomorrow’s vote on trade promotion authority (TPA), legislation that will help open markets for our products and create good-paying American jobs. During the interview, Chairman Ryan explained how TPA is the necessary process by which Congress can hold the president accountable and make sure the public is able to see exactly what is in any trade agreements he negotiates. Excerpts from his answers follow:

Holding the president accountable

“This is why we need to pass trade promotion authority, because what we have in trade promotion authority is a prevention of any immigration changes, of any climate-change legislation going into a trade agreement. So, by passing trade promotion authority, we’re putting Congress in the driver’s seat, which is transparency. We’ve got to see the documents; the country needs to see these trade agreements 60 days. Oh, and you cannot put any immigration in here. You can’t put any climate change in a trade agreement. So this is why we want to pass trade promotion authority, so that we can determine the outcome of these trade agreements, not what’s happening out there now. That’s why we’re asserting our power and control here. Look, a broken clock’s right twice a day. The President is actually supporting trade, which is what Republicans are in favor of. That’s why we are where we are.”

TPA is a process, not a trade agreement

“Trade promotion authority—which is what we’re voting on this week—is a process. It’s not a trade agreement. It’s the procedure for how you consider a trade agreement. The Trans-Pacific Partnership doesn’t exist yet. The reason we can’t see it is because it hasn’t been negotiated yet. It doesn’t exist yet. It’s been negotiated for years—Bush started these negotiations. . . . We’re voting on a procedure—how does Congress consider trade agreements. Then, in the fall, we’ll consider a trade agreement—which hasn’t been completed yet. That’s why we don’t know what’s in it, because it doesn’t exist yet. That’s the whole point.”

Either America leads—or we fall behind

“We have the votes we hoped to have. We are where we want to be and we were planning on being. But some Democrats are going to have to support this to get this over the finish line. We’ve been saying that all along. Look, it’s really simple, Brian. Either we shape the global economy, as Americans, with trade agreements, or it shapes us. The rest of the world is moving. They’re getting trade agreements—China and Europe—and we’re not. That means we’re getting frozen out of the markets and other people are writing the rules of the global economy. And, as an American who wants to lead and see our country lead, this is why I’m trying to pass trade.”