NEVER TOLERATE TYRANNY!....Conservative voices from the GRASSROOTS.

Good analysis on TPA/TAA/Sen. Jim De Mint: I know free trade and this isn't

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When I was first elected to Congress in 1998, South Carolina’s Fourth Congressional District was a reliably protectionist vote. In the words of former Sen. Fritz Hollings, the entire delegation viewed free trade as “the commercial equivalent of unilateral disarmament.”

If we cannot win a legislative debate on the merits of free trade, the deal wasn’t worth making.

As a free-market conservative, free trade is in my DNA. It is a trait shared by many of my former colleagues in Congress today, and they are correct that perfection is usually unattainable in the legislative process. That is why I voted in favor of granting President Bush trade promotion authority (TPA) in 2002 even though that bill contained what we now know is an egregiously ineffective welfare program—Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA).

But there are key differences between that bill and the one currently on life support in the House.

The 2002 bill actually advanced free trade. Not only did it grant fast-track authority, it also extended and expanded the Andean Trade Preferences and ensured that tariffs remained low on numerous other imports. It’s not at all clear that today’s version would produce that kind of progress, certainly not with a president who wants to rewrite the rules of trade and put in place the most progressive environmental and labor rules ever. Instead, today’s version of fast track authority has become a legislative vehicle for those who favor protectionism and favoritism above freedom and opportunity.

First, let’s focus on the policy.

Research by The Heritage Foundation and many others shows that TAA does not help participants get back on their feet. An evaluation by Mathmatica found the program financially hurt not only the taxpayers but even the participants themselves. The Government Accountability Office confirmed these retrained workers make less money than their non-TAA-assisted counterparts.

It doesn’t stop there, though. The bill includes a series of negotiating objectives that go far beyond simply knocking down trade barriers. My former colleague Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) explained that the inclusion of these non-trade provisions “ensures future trade deals break new ground to promote human rights, improve labor conditions, and safeguard the environment.”

Human rights, worker safety, and environmental protection are worthy goals but should not be shoehorned to fit into or alter an unrelated trade agreement. I know free trade, and this isn’t it. The objective of any free trade agreement (and preceding fast track authority) is to remove tariff and non-tariff barriers to trade. To that end, pacts may address regulations that make it difficult to do business, loosen restrictive banking systems and ensure the protection of property rights. That is what free trade looks like.

The benefits of free trade are undeniable. According to HSBC, the world’s leading bank for international trade, the average American family saves $13,600 every year because of trade. Whether it is the value of the products we import or the economic gains from exports, trade is good for Americans and vital to our nation’s future.

If only that were what this debate is about.

Instead of focusing on advancing free trade, the congressional process has turned into a special interest boondoggle. Liberals in the House want to make this about infrastructure spending, but most notable was the deal-cutting on the Senate floor last month.

I’ve seen deals cut on the floor, and this had all the hallmarks. A vote held open. A gaggle of key senators. A sudden change in votes. Reuters explained that once Senate leadership “pledged to schedule a reauthorization vote [on the Export-Import Bank], the trade bill gained enough Democratic support to narrowly pass a procedural Senate hurdle.”

That wasn’t legislative horse trading designed to advance free trade; it was designed to advance the interests of a handful of well-connected special interests. It also runs contrary to another laudable object of free traders which is actually part of this TPA agreement: The elimination of foreign, state-owned enterprises.

Five of the top 10 foreign beneficiaries of America’s Ex-Im Bank are state-owned or state-operated enterprises, including national airlines and national oil companies. These companies, and their countries, distort trade across the globe. A commitment to free trade means a commitment to ending these arrangements.

Throughout this debate, many good conservatives in Congress became so infatuated with a congressional process intended to advance free trade they lost sight of the big picture. If we cannot win a legislative debate on the merits of free trade, the deal wasn’t worth making.




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Comment by HELEN on June 19, 2015 at 7:44am

READ THIS AND UNDERSTAND YOUR UNITED STATES HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES PASSED TPA TODAY ... the purpose of which is to give us TPP. And now it's back to the US Senate, where three men running for President will have to vote. Watch them closely and don't forget that according to Sessions (and others), who Cruz basically called a liar, "the European Commission, the TiSA agreement—which most House and Senate members did not know about when they voted—will follow in the footsteps of the WTO’s Trade in Services Provisions, which has already inhibited the U.S. from making needed immigration changes. The European Commission says the EU 'wants as many countries as possible to join the agreement.' We have already seen how the EU has curtailed sovereignty in Europe; we do not want to follow in its footsteps.

According to Sessions: "This nation has never seen an agreement that compares to the TPP, which forms a new Pacific Union. This is far more than a trade agreement, but creates a self-governing and self-perpetuating Commission with extraordinary implications for American workers and American sovereignty.

"Such a historic international regulatory Commission should never be fast-tracked, and should never be put on a path to passage until every word has been publicly scrutinized, every question answered, and every last power understood by Congress and the American people.” It was fast tracked today ... right out of the House and back to the Senate, where they will take another vote and if passed will go to the Prez for signature. There are three US Senators running for President. Watch them closely! K.M.

Comment by HELEN on June 18, 2015 at 9:23pm
Comment by HELEN on June 18, 2015 at 7:36pm

There will be a re-vote on Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) with HR 2146 TODAY.

Please read the press release Heritage Action released this morning (see below) and then call your House Representative ASAP and ask they “vote NO on TPA (HR 2146).”
House’s Embarrassing Trade Gimmick

Heritage Action for America

June 18, 2015


Washington — Last night, the House Rules Committee reported a rule that would allow the House to vote today on a bill to grant President Obama fast-track authority, also known at Trade Promotion Authority (TPA).  While the bill does not contain the ineffective Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) program, Republican leaders made clear they will ensure the “President can sign [TAA] into law.”  They even acknowledged “It’s a little bit of a high wire act.”  Heritage Action released the following statement from chief executive officer Michael A. Needham:


“This reveals the intellectual bankruptcy of Republican leadership.  Instead of using last week’s embarrassment to reevaluate the policy they opted for a new procedural gimmick to get the same nonsense passed. Members should vote no.


“Republicans weren’t given majorities so they could cede control to Democrats.  They need to listen to the people, stop passing the same policies that are failing our country, and embrace an agenda built on the principle of opportunity for all and favoritism to none.”


Jim DeMint: Free Trade in Name Only
Heritage: No, Conservatives Don’t Suddenly Hate Free Trade


>>Find your Congressman’s contact information on our Dashboard

Then Call them and urge them to vote NO on Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) in HR 2146.

Heritage Action For America
(202) 716-8087

Comment by PHILIP SCHNEIDER on June 18, 2015 at 12:02am

As is the fact about ALL distasteful legislation that will negatively affect the average US citizen, this latest round of alphabet soup legislation has grandiose titles intended to hide their REAL intent.

Because these legislative slights of hand are NOT allowed to be READ or known by the public, only legislators sworn to secrecy are allowed to actually READ the legislation before they are passed. Amazingly most legislators will vote on the bills WITHOUT ever having read them!!!

This is the state of our nation  . . . . 2015 with the first black man president . . . .  the most "transparent" president our nation has ever seen . . . .  never seen.

Comment by HELEN on June 17, 2015 at 9:39pm
Comment by PHILIP SCHNEIDER on June 17, 2015 at 8:24pm

I've been waiting for "REVOLUTION". The last place I expect it to rise is in our halls of Washington . . . .

Maybe I'm wrong.

Comment by HELEN on June 17, 2015 at 8:15pm

Behind the scenes of the games being played in D.C.:

Comment by HELEN on June 17, 2015 at 7:55pm

June 17, 2015
CONTACT: Don Stewart (McConnell) 202-224-2979, Kevin Smith (Boehner) 202-225-0600

Joint Statement By Speaker Boehner, Leader McConnell on Trade
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) issued the following statement today on the upcoming trade debate:

“We are committed to ensuring both TPA and TAA get votes in the House and Senate and are sent to the President for signature. And it is our intent to have a conference on the customs bill and complete that in a timely manner so that the President can sign it into law.”

Speaker Boehner’s Press Office | H-232 The Capitol | 202-225-0600

Comment by PHILIP SCHNEIDER on June 17, 2015 at 7:46pm

If it was so good, we would have seen it.






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