WASHINGTON, D.C. – Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady (R-TX) last night delivered the following remarks in support of free trade at a Washington International Trade Association (WITA) dinner honoring Congressional trade leaders.
Remarks as prepared for delivery:
“Like the term ‘free speech,’ the term ‘free trade’ doesn’t refer to its cost, it means the freedom TO trade. In America it’s our freedom to buy, sell and compete anywhere in the world with as little government interference as possible.
“It’s important to everyday Americans because this economic freedom lies at the heart of America’s marvelous free enterprise system that creates jobs and prosperity.
“Free trade isn’t about China, or Mexico, or Britain. It’s about America – and guaranteeing Americans their economic freedom.
“This is protecting our freedom against those who would tell you which smart phone you can buy, what car you can drive, what groceries you can choose… and at what price. This is freedom against Washington dictating where your business can sell its legal products and how much you can charge. This is freedom against ‘Washington knows best.’
“Even more importantly, for everyday Americans the economic freedom to trade answers a key question ‘who has the power?’
“Who has the power to dictate what you can buy, and sell, where and at what price? Is the answer Washington, special interests, industry or unions? Or is it you, the American consumer? The beauty of free trade is that it insists that power lies with American consumers.
“If you think about it, the freedom to trade is the most anti-establishment power Americans enjoy because daily it tells politicians and special interests to take a hike – we, the American consumer, will buy what’s good for our family or business at the price we choose to afford.
“It guarantees that when a new product is designed, or a better service unveiled, or a new break-through technology is legally produced – that special interests can’t hold you back from selling it, buying it or disrupting an entire industry because you invented a better way.
“And the freedom to trade tells our foreign competitors they can’t sell one-way into America and block our selling two-way into their country. And when that happens, America wins.
“Given all that’s at stake, we cannot afford to limit our freedom to trade. Nothing will weaken America faster or strengthen our competitors more than rolling back that freedom.”