A lot of misinformation is being spread about Trade Promotion Authority or TPA that is currently being debated in Congress.
First and foremost I want to tell you why I support TPA and why I think it’s an important step forward for not only West Michigan but the entire country.
The Constitution lays out specific roles for both the President as well as Congress in terms of trade. The President’s role is to negotiate with foreign counties on behalf of the United States, while the role of Congress is to review any potential trade agreement and then vote to either approve or disapprove the trade deal.
TPA allows Congress to define what the President can negotiate. In fact, TPA puts in place 150 objectives for the President to meet. Additionally, TPA requires the Obama Administration to provide updates to Congress of the ongoing negotiations.
Should an agreement be reached, TPA also requires the text of any trade agreement be made public for 60 days. (It’s important to note that none of these transparency checks are available without TPA.)
After the two month comment period, Congress – not the President – has the final say on any prospective trade agreement by holding a straight up or down vote. If the President fails to deliver a good deal, Congress can vote down the proposal.
Another important fact is that TPA is not a new invention. TPA has been utilized by Congress for nearly 80 years and is a concept I have supported in the past.
So if TPA passes Congress, what’s next? The current trade proposal being negotiated is known as the Transpacific Partnership or TPP. This potential agreement would strengthen commerce between the United States and our Pacific trading partners including Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, and Vietnam.
The end goal of TPP would be to create a larger free market where more made in Michigan products can be sold overseas by reducing & eliminating tariffs and other market distorting practices. West Michigan has the opportunity to experience even greater economic expansion and with it the creation of good-paying jobs with TPP. Passing TPA is the first step in making this possibility a reality.
TPP also has the potential to place an important check on China and prevent the Chinese from setting the economic rules across the Pacific. Contrary to what you may have heard, China is NOT a part of the TPP negotiation and cannot join the agreement without consent of Congress, which it will not get.
For more information on the Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) legislation and the Transpacific Partnership (TPP) that is still being negotiated click here.
Thank you for taking the time to cut through the noise. I will continue to support and fight for the free market principles that have made America prosper.