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On NPR, Ryan Makes the Case for TPA

June 17, 2015

WASHINGTON — This morning, Wisconsin Congressman and House Ways and Means Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) joined Steve Inskeep of National Public Radio’s Morning Edition to discuss the importance of Trade Promotion Authority and why it’s critical to getting future trade agreements. The interview is available here and excerpts of Congressman Ryan’s responses follow. 

Addressing misconceptions about Trade Promotion Authority and the Trans-Pacific Partnership:

“Let me just clarify a couple of misperceptions. We’re not considering the TPP, the Trans-Pacific Partnership. There isn’t a trade agreement yet to consider. It’s not a deal, it’s still being negotiated. What we’re considering in Congress is what we call Trade Promotion Authority, which is to give America the ability to go and negotiate a trade agreement and complete negotiations of a trade agreement, then bring the trade agreement to Congress for an up-or-down vote . . . [TPA determines] whether or not we have the ability to go and negotiate, complete negotiations and get a trade agreement.”

TPA will allow America to lead in the global economy:

“What we’re requiring in these negotiations, and what we direct in our Trade Promotion Authority legislation, is that these other countries level the playing field—they treat us like we treat them, they open their markets reciprocally to ours, to our exports, and they raise their standards to our standards, and play by our rules with respect to things like intellectual property protection, rule of law. Those kinds of things are very important to make sure that we set the standard for the global economy . . . Then America, along with our allies, are writing the rules of the global economy at the beginning of this 21st century.”

America can’t keep getting shut out on trade:

“Since 2007, there have been a hundred trade agreements struck around the world without America. And that means other countries are already doing this, getting better access, getting better market access, and we’re not, and that means we lose jobs.”

TPA strengthens transparency and accountability in future trade agreements:

“What we are demanding and insisting on in Trade Promotion Authority is not only that Members of Congress have full access to anything that’s classified for the moment, but once an agreement is actually reached between countries, that agreement must be made public, in totality, for sixty days, for the public to see before a President can even sign an agreement. And when he signs it, he simply sends it to Congress, and then Congress spends a minimum of thirty days, after sixty days, looking at the agreement, considering the agreement. The reason some things are classified right now is negotiations—you don’t want to go into negotiations at any level, whether it’s private transactions, or government-to-government, with all your cards face up. That’s just the nature of negotiations.”