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Congressman Tom McClintock

Representing the 4th District of California

Rep. McClintock Delivers Weekly Republican Address: Trade Means Freedom and Prosperity

May 9, 2015
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. - House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) selected Rep. Tom McClintock (R-CA) to deliver the Weekly Republican Address on Saturday, May 9, 2015.  Rep. McClintock discussed bipartisan legislation to hold Washington accountable for better trade agreements that mean more jobs, prosperity, and freedom for the American people.

Delivering the Weekly Republican Address, Rep. McClintock outlined how Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) works, why we need it, and how it will help create jobs and grow the economy.  Trade Promotion Authority – a bicameral, bipartisan initiative – will allow Congress to set objectives for trade agreements, ensure a transparent negotiating process and provide for a final vote on any agreement reached by the administration.  

“I don’t know about you, but I am tired of years of economic stagnation, of watching our country marginalized, and of an administration that often operates in direct defiance of Congress and the American people,” McClintock adds. “This bill is a giant step to solving these problems.”

The video is available to view here.

Remarks of Representative Tom McClintock of California
Weekly Republican Address
May 9, 2015

 

Hi, I’m Congressman Tom McClintock from California.

Right now, Congress is considering important legislation to help create more jobs and prosperity for the American people.  It’s called ‘Trade Promotion Authority,’ and I’d like to visit with you about it.

Trade means prosperity.  More markets for American products means more jobs and higher wages for American workers.  More products entering our economy means more consumer choices and lower prices. 



But here’s the problem: unfair trade regulations, labor standards, high taxes and foreign subsidies often put American workers at a real disadvantage.  To remove these barriers, we have to negotiate trade agreements to put Americans back in the game under fair and equal rules.  

We haven’t done that recently because the legal authority to effectively negotiate these agreements expired years ago, and we’re seeing the result.  Since 2000, there have been 48 trade agreements among Asian nations, and Americans were part of only two of them.  China is writing the rules while we’re left behind.  

That’s why Trade Promotion Authority is so important.  It’s the key to restarting America’s trade engine.

Here’s how it works.  Congress sets 150 objectives that our negotiators have to advance – fair rules that both sides have to follow – everything from food safety and labor standards to rules for trading on the Internet. 

If these objectives aren’t met, the deal’s off.  End of discussion.  If they are met, then the agreement’s published in full for 60 days so the American people can weigh in, and only then will Congress vote to approve it or reject it. 

This process gives our negotiating partners the confidence that the concessions that they make won’t be endlessly altered once the agreement gets to Congress.  It’ll either be voted up or voted down.  That assures our negotiators will bring back to Congress the very best offer from our trading partners without their holding anything back.

We’ve negotiated trade agreements this way generally since the 1930’s, and very much like this since the 1970’s.  But now, in some quarters it’s become controversial. 
Some on the left oppose it because of pressure from protectionist special interests.  Well, they’ve forgotten the painful lessons of history.  Protectionism is the fastest way to destroy an economy, as this nation has learned repeatedly, going back as far as Jefferson’s time. 

Some on the right oppose it because they don’t trust the president and his history of executive overreach. 

Well, I don’t trust him either.  That’s why I support this bill.  Without it, he can negotiate anything he wants.  Trade Promotion Authority binds him to the will of Congress before the agreement is reached.  If – and only if – he meets Congress’ objectives, will Congress then agree – not necessarily to pass the agreement – but only to vote on it after the American people have had their say.  

I’m particularly concerned about illegal immigration.  This bill forbids the president from making any changes to our laws, including our immigration laws.
  
I don’t know about you, but I am tired of years of economic stagnation, of watching our country marginalized, and of an administration that often operates in direct defiance of Congress and the American people.  This bill is a giant step to solving these problems. 

The free exchange of goods – whether between people or nations – means that both sides go away with something of greater value to themselves – or the trade wouldn’t take place.  Freedom creates prosperity, and the greater the freedom, the greater the prosperity.  Trade Promotion Authority is the means by which this freedom is advanced – for ourselves and for our children.

Freedom works.  And it’s time that we put it back to work.

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