April 22,2015

Press Contact:

Aaron Fobes, Julia Lawless (202) 224-4515

Conservative Support for TPA Builds

Trade Tool Restores Congressional Oversight of Trade Deals

Today, the Senate Finance Committee will consider the Bipartisan Congressional Trade Priorities and Accountability Act of 2015 (TPA-2015), bicameral legislation to renew Trade Promotion Authority (TPA), a tool that gives Congress the power to lay out objectives that any Administration – Republican or Democrat – must meet in trade agreements.

By requiring that the House and Senate be fully consulted on pending agreements before any vote and including unprecedented transparency provisions, TPA strengthens congressional oversight of the Executive Branch’s trade negotiations.

TPA is good for Congress, and conservatives are rallying around this critical trade tool.

Here’s a look at what they’re saying:

REP. PAUL RYAN (R-WI) AND SEN. TED CRUZ (R-TX): “Congress needs to strengthen the country’s bargaining position by establishing trade-promotion authority, also known as TPA, which is an arrangement between Congress and the president for negotiating and considering trade agreements. In short, TPA is what U.S. negotiators need to win a fair deal for the American worker...Trade-promotion authority will hold the administration accountable both to Congress and to the American people.”(Wall Street Journal OpEd, Putting Congress in Charge on Trade, 4/21/15)

THE TEA PARTY EXPRESS:  The Tea Party Express is in support of your Trade Promotion Authority legislation that will foster greater economic growth and provide better opportunities for American workers…. your legislation keeps Congress in the vital role of approving any agreements and maintaining oversight to protect American interests.” (Tea Party Express Letter in Support of TPA, 4/21/2015)

WASHINGTON EXAMINER EDITORIAL BOARD: The new legislative incarnation of TPA does more to protect U.S. sovereignty and congressional prerogatives than versions that were previously in force. It provides for unprecedented congressional oversight of the negotiating process and it bars agreements from making any changes to U.S. law without further congressional action.” (Congress should ignore Hillary, pursue trade agreements with optimism, 4/21/15)

JOHN YOO IN NATIONAL REVIEW:Fast track does not delegate any power to the executive branch. Under fast track, the president does not exercise any new authority that he lacked before. Under normal constitutional practice, the president negotiates an international agreement and then submits it to Congress for approval. Fast-track doesn’t change that fundamental order. President Obama can negotiate any agreement he likes, and Congress is free to vote it up or down. (Why on Earth Would Conservatives Oppose the Fast-Track Trade Bill?, 4/21/15)

SEN. JEFF FLAKE (R-AZ):“…bipartisan legislation renewing trade promotion authority is a positive step toward reducing trade barriers and increasing economic growth in the U.S. and abroad.”  (Flake Statement on Trade Promotion Authority Legislation, 4/16/15)