Buchanan on President’s Trade Agenda: Offer Accepted
WASHINGTON – U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan, a senior member of the House Ways and Means Trade Subcommittee, wrote a letter to President Obama today expressing support for his willingness to work with Congress on international trade agreements that will help boost the U.S. economy and create good-paying jobs.
Buchanan stressed the importance of passing Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) legislation to expedite consideration of agreements such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership -- a massive free trade deal between the United States and 11 other countries, including Japan, which account for 40% of global economic output and nearly a third of all world trade.
January 22, 2015
The Honorable Barack Obama
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20500
Dear Mr. President:
In your State of the Union Address you expressed a willingness to work with Congress on expanding international trade opportunities that will help grow the U.S. economy and create American jobs. Offer accepted.
As a senior member of the House Ways and Means Trade Subcommittee, I understand that increasing access to foreign markets is critical to restoring America’s rightful standing as the world’s global leader. In your words “China wants to write the rules for the world’s fastest-growing region.” We cannot allow this to happen.
A pending free-trade deal between the U.S. and 11 other countries, including Japan, offers us a prime opportunity to turbo-charge our economy by eliminating tariffs and expanding American exports. The countries involved in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) account for 40% of global economic output and nearly a third of all world trade.
However, the best way to ensure an open and transparent process where American jobs and companies are protected is by passing Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) legislation. Also known as “fast-track” authority, TPA allows expedited consideration of trade agreements – provided that certain congressionally-dictated safeguards are met. TPA offers the ability to obtain an up-or-down vote on a trade agreement, which is critical to ensure that the U.S. maintains leverage in complex multi-nation negotiations.
Special interests and members of your own party have expressed opposition to TPA. I would encourage you to personally reach out to these factions so we can build support for this critical legislation. A recent poll by the Business Roundtable revealed the vast majority – more than 80 percent of Americans – support the U.S. negotiating trade agreements to expand market access for goods and services around the globe. I believe that increasing global demand for American products will lead to greater growth here at home.
Bipartisan trade agreements could serve as an excellent example of what Washington can accomplish when both parties come together to help create jobs and increase America’s competitiveness in the global marketplace.
Let’s get to work.
Member of Congress
cc: The Honorable Michael Froman, United States Trade Representative