Trade: ‘Promise Of A Great Global Renaissance’ At Stake

‘Make No Mistake, We No Longer Live In An Era When The U.S. Can Afford Economic Isolation’


‘Promoting Fear Of Trade Over Freer Trade… Will Make All Of Us Much Poorer,’ ‘Claiming Otherwise Is Poppycock’

WALL STREET JOURNAL: “The problem now is that failing to pass trade-promotion authority would be far more than a defeat for Mr. Obama. It would do great harm to U.S. national interests and the world economy. The Pacific deal is the best opportunity in decades to liberalize trade. A country that cannot overcome narrow geographic or business or labor interests, and that shrinks from global competition, is choosing national decline.” (“Obama’s Trade Backfire,” Wall Street Journal, 5/13/15)

MINNEAPOLIS STAR TRIBUNE: “Congress should grant President Obama Trade Promotion Authority (TPA, or so-called ‘fast-track’ status), which nearly every postwar president has received. TPA is needed because no foreign leaders will take the domestic political risks necessary to ink an international trade pact if they perceive that beyond Obama they then have to negotiate with 535 members of Congress. These political risks usually involve reducing barriers to global goods and services, which can anger domestic protectionist constituencies. Only if foreign governments know that a free-trade agreement will get an eventual up-or-down vote in Congress will they make the necessary concessions. … The trade debate won't stop with passage of TPA. But not passing fast-track could mean passing on increased global trade with the 95 percent of consumers living in other countries. That's a debate worth having. Congress should grant the president Trade Promotion Authority.” (“Congress Should Pass 'Fast Track' On Trade,” Star Tribune, 4/25/15)

INVESTOR’S BUSINESS DAILY: “The promise of a great global renaissance that will extend well beyond the Obama era is what's a stake here. The move toward fast track just turned the ignition on. The opponents of this move may be well intentioned, but if successful at promoting fear of trade over freer trade, they will make all of us much poorer.” (Editorial, “Don't Stand In The Way Of Free Trade,” Investor’s Business Daily, 4/27/15)

  • “On Tuesday, the Senate votes on whether to take up what is officially called ‘Trade Promotion Authority,’ which limits Congress to an up-or-down vote after the president signs a trade deal. The idea behind TPA is that foreign governments won't agree to any terms if Congress can step in afterwards and unilaterally alter them.” (Editorial, “Trading On Mischief,” Investor’s Business Daily, 5/12/15)
  • “Despite what critics say, TPA restricts the White House more than Congress. It lays out specific instructions and objectives for trade negotiations, and imposes extensive consulting and reporting requirements. The main difference is that the current version actually strengthens Congress' oversight hand. And as before, once a trade agreement deal is signed, lawmakers can still reject it. They just can't amend it. …without TPA there will be no new free trade deals with Asia, Europe or anyone else. Claiming otherwise is poppycock.” (Editorial, “Trading On Mischief,” Investor’s Business Daily, 5/12/15)

CHICAGO TRIBUNE: “As a center for agriculture, manufacturing and services, Illinois is a state with a lot of exports -- and even more export potential. International trade is a major part of our economy. So it's not surprising that a president from here would push to expand trade opportunities by negotiating with other countries to open up their markets. … Illinois members of Congress who oppose international trade expansion put protectionist fears ahead of their citizens' clear interests. Illinois stands to gain more than most states. Goods exported from Illinois, says the Illinois Business Roundtable, ‘have grown more than three times faster than state GDP since 2003.’ More than 1 in 5 jobs here depend on exports or imports, and in the past decade, jobs in those companies grew 7.5 times faster than overall employment.” (Editorial, “Grow Illinois Jobs, Back Obama On Pacific Trade,” Chicago Tribune, 5/12/15)

THE COLUMBIAN: “Boasting what remains, by far, the world's largest economy, the United States - and the state of Washington, in particular - has more to gain than to fear from open international trade. Because of that, Congress should act quickly to approve Trade Promotion Authority…” (Editorial, “Put Trade On Fast Track,” The Columbian, 4/23/15)

BALTIMORE SUN: “It’s an Economics 101 lesson that bears repeating: Trade is good. The United States is the world's largest trading nation, supporting more than 11 million jobs.” (Editorial, “Give Obama 'Fast Track' Authority,” Baltimore Sun, 4/17/15)

WASHINGTON POST: “On the returning Congress’s crowded agenda, no item is more important than the passage of a bill known as trade promotion authority.” (Editorial, “Congress Should Put Trade Atop Its To-Do List,” Washington Post, 4/13/15)

  • “The foes of fast track deserve to lose on the merits, but they might be interested to know that they also appear to be out of step with public opinion. A recent Gallup poll shows that 58 percent of Americans ‘view foreign trade as an opportunity for economic growth through increased U.S. exports,’ while only 33 percent see it as ‘a threat to the economy from foreign imports.’ The latter number is one of the lowest anti-trade readings of the past 20 years.” (Editorial, “Showdown On The Trade Pact,” Washington Post, 4/19/15)

LA TIMES: ‘Lawmakers need to put fast-track authority back in place now’ “Considering that the United States typically imposes higher standards on its manufacturers and charges lower tariffs on imported goods, however, it has more to gain from free-trade deals than its trading partners. That's why the administration should keep pursuing them, as it is with Europe and others, and Congress should provide explicit guidance. Lawmakers need to put fast-track authority back in place now, before negotiators push away from the table on the Trans-Pacific Partnership.” (Editorial, “Congress Should OK Fast-Track Authority To Get A Better Trade Deal,” Los Angeles Times, 3/10/15)

WALL STREET JOURNAL: “With the world’s economies hitting stiff headwinds, more free trade is the one big lever available to produce a lift for consumers, job-seekers and entrepreneurs.” (Editorial, “A Lift For Free Trade,” Wall Street Journal, 4/16/15)

CLEVELAND PLAIN DEALER: “If trade agreements can accentuate the positive while mitigating the negative, that’s a good thing. If they can open up foreign markets while insisting on a more level playing field, that’s sound policy. ... When a vote on trade promotion authority comes before Congress — a bipartisan bill is expected to be introduced soon — it should pass.” (Editorial, “Give President Power To Work Up Trade Deals,” Plain Dealer, 4/12/15)

SEATTLE TIMES: “Two out of five Washington workers have a job related to international trade. As more countries enter the global marketplace, Washington has much to gain — or lose — if the United States doesn’t maintain a strong position in trade. That’s just one of many reasons why Congress should grant President Obama ‘fast-track’ authority to negotiate trade agreements known as trade-promotion authority. Congress should swiftly approve a bill introduced last week to do just that. …The United States must look for ways to maximize trade deals with other countries. Congressional leaders should act soon to give the president fast-track authority…” (Editorial, “Give Obama Fast-Track Authority In Trans-Pacific Partnership Negotiations,” Seattle Times, 4/21/15)

SAN DIEGO UNION TRIBUNE: “Congress goes back to work next week after a two-week recess. Before you groan, understand this: There are a couple of major issues on which the partisan logjam might be broken. One of them is international trade and it is extremely important to the economic future of San Diego. … This upcoming bill – called trade promotion authority, or fast track – is a process bill; it is not a trade agreement itself. But it is critical. … The stakes are high. We urge all members of the San Diego County congressional delegation to allow American negotiators to speak with one voice again by supporting the fast-track legislation and the subsequent trade agreements.” (Editorial, “'Speak With One Voice' On Trade,” San Diego Union Tribune, 4/8/15)

AKRON BEACON JOURNAL: “Ohio companies sold $52 billion in goods and services overseas last year, an increase of 64 percent since 2004. Those efforts translated into 263,000 jobs for Ohioans, typically paying 18 percent more than the average wage. Of those companies, 89 percent rate as small- or medium-sized businesses. These numbers come from the office of the U.S. trade representative…” (Editorial, “Fast Track To Job Creation,” Akron Beacon Journal, 4/13/15)

  • “Consider that the middle class in the Asia-Pacific region has grown from 570 million people to 2.7 billion people the past 15 years. That reflects a market ripe with opportunity - if negotiations succeed in removing or lowering trade barriers, allowing greater access for American goods and services. That opportunity will be missed if Congress fails to give the president ‘trade promotion authority,’ or fast-track authority, in negotiating the agreement. … In 2014, Ohio businesses sold $30.4 billion in goods and services in Trans-Pacific Partnership countries. They want to sell more, and other companies may be eager to join them, in the process generating new jobs for Ohioans.” (Editorial, “Fast Track To Job Creation,” Akron Beacon Journal, 4/13/15)

THE OREGONIAN: “Trade promotion authority, a decades old process, is necessary to effectively negotiate any trade treaty.  … Few states would benefit more from increased access to foreign markets than Oregon, which exported $27 billion in goods and services in 2013. The 11 countries other than the United States participating in this trade treaty include eight of Oregon’s top 12 export markets. Trade benefits all areas of the state, from athletic apparel and semiconductor companies in the Portland area to wheat farmers in eastern Oregon to berry growers and wine producers in the Willamette Valley and southern Oregon.” (Editorial, “Critics Of Wyden, Fast Track And The TPP Miss The Mark,” The Oregonian, 4/3/15)

ARIZONA REPUBLIC: “…this pending trade deal. The country needs it. The nation's economy… desperately needs the sort of adrenaline rush that an invigorated trade deal would provide.” (Editorial, “Hey, Arizona Dems, Can You Help Obama Out?,” Arizona Republic, 2/21/15)



Related Issues: Trade Promotion Authority, Jobs, Free Trade