Why I Oppose Trade Promotion Authority For President Obama


Mike Huckabee Former Arkansas Governor
Font Size:

I support free, fair trade, but I’m sick of America’s workers getting punched in the gut.

We don’t create good jobs for Americans by entering into unbalanced trade deals that forgo congressional scrutiny and ignore the law only to import low-wage labor, undercut American workers, and drive wages lower than the Dead Sea.

Republicans must NEVER again give Obama more power. Republicans must NEVER again fail to hold Obama accountable. As President I’ll do something this President has NEVER done — put American workers first.

The U.S. has lost five million manufacturing jobs in the last 15 years. China cheats, foreign countries break the rules, and Washington falls asleep at the wheel.

The Obama administration has fooled and failed the American people for far too long. I cannot support giving this administration trade promotion authority (TPA) for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).

Given the Obama administration’s track record on executive overreach, immigration, gun control, and Iranian nuclear talks, they simply cannot be trusted to negotiate anything on behalf of the American people. Personally, I wouldn’t trust this administration to negotiate a deal on a secondhand Subaru — let alone a multi-trillion dollar trade deal. It’s time we get trade deals right, and that starts by having a clear, transparent discussion on the front end. The secrecy of this deal chillingly reminds us of the secrecy of Obamacare. I just know we’ll hear Nancy Pelosi say, “We’ll know what’s in the trade deal after we’ve signed the trade deal.”

Second, Congress is a co-equal branch of government. We elect our representatives so that families, farmers, factory workers, and manufacturers across the country have a voice in Congress. If TPA makes sense for Americans, President Obama should sort out a clear, honest framework with Congress before horse-trading with foreign bureaucrats.

Third, President Obama is an expert at using chaos, controversy, conflict, and the threat of economic armageddon to advance his agenda. After all, the last thing we really fast-tracked was Obamacare. We know how that worked out for American families and businesses! Once negotiators come back with the finalized details of the TPP agreement, political pressure will force Congress to accept even a lousy deal. American workers should not be held hostage to Obama’s manufactured hysteria.

I’m not alone in my concern. Two out of every three voters agree with me that we shouldn’t fast-track TPP.

Lastly, on immigration and currency manipulation, a poorly crafted TPP could make serious problems worse. It could give this Administration the ability to increase unilaterally the number of foreign workers. Given President Obama’s failure to tackle existing currency manipulation issues, artificially cheap imports will continue to undermine American manufacturing. We cannot allow any new deal-making unless the TPA sets basic and nonnegotiable ground rules that protect American workers.

We need to expand trade and work with partners across the globe to grow our economy. However, this Administration cannot be trusted to negotiate a deal that makes sense for American workers. Congress needs to wake up, hold President Obama accountable, slam on the brakes, and do this right.

Mike Huckabee is a Republican presidential candidate and the former governor of Arkansas.​