WASHINGTON — With the House set to vote on trade promotion authority (TPA) legislation, House Ways and Means Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) and other pro-trade members of Congress joined major conservative groups this afternoon to share their support for this crucial bill. Chairman Ryan expressed confidence in the House’s ability to pass TPA and reiterated why trade is so important for growing our economy and creating good-paying American jobs. His full remarks follow:
“This is a question about American leadership. Is America going to lead? Is America going to confidently go out in the world and get trade agreements that are good for our workers? This is how you get higher-paying jobs, faster economic growth, and more global engagement. The rules of the global economy are being written right now. There is no question about that. The question is, who is going to write the rules? Is it America and our allies? Or will it be other nations that don’t share our values? Ninety-five percent of the world’s consumers —they don’t live in this country. They live in other countries. So it’s absolutely critical that we open up these markets, so we can grow and make more things in America and sell them overseas. This is how you get prosperity. This is how you get faster economic growth, and this is how you reignite upward mobility so that people can have better jobs.
“This is a process that we’re passing that says, ‘Here’s how you bring trade agreements to the floor.’ This is Congress asserting its will on the administration, so that we can have Congress involved throughout the process, so that we can bring more transparency to the process, so that members of Congress and the public can see exactly what’s going on in Washington.
“Sixty days an agreement has to be made public before it can even be signed by a President. Then it comes to Congress, and then Congress reserves the right to decide whether a trade agreement goes into place or not. This restores accountability, transparency, and binds the administration to Congress’s will on how we consider trade legislation—trade legislation that is so necessary for engaging in the world, for leading in the world, for opening up markets, and for creating good-paying jobs at home. I live in Wisconsin—700,000 jobs are tied to trade in Wisconsin. These jobs, on average, pay more. These are the kinds of jobs we want.
“That’s why we’re very confident with where we are. We’re excited about moving forward on this, and we think it’s high time that America gets back on offense and goes out and gets good trade agreements so that we can be confident in leading the world. That’s why we’re doing this and that’s why we’re excited about where we are.”