The TPP Is On Life Support. Let’s Pull The Plug.

Paul Nehlen Former challenger to Speaker Ryan

This election year has been the year of the outsider. The two top contenders for the Republican nomination were both outsiders reviled by K Street and establishment Republicans past and present. Whether the ire emanated from the House or the Senate, alumni of past – and failed – presidential bids, or the entrenched consultant class, the message was unmistakable: neither Ted Cruz nor Donald Trump is fit to occupy the White House.

Enter the voters.

They clearly disagree with the powers that be. Indeed, there is no mistaking this electoral environment. The electorate has made its voice quite clear – trade and immigration are powerfully driving the electoral marketplace.

In fact, I can distill down to one issue my drive to challenge Speaker Paul Ryan: Trade.  I would’ve run against the Trans-Pacific Partnership if the TPP were a member of Congress, but Speaker Ryan was a fairly accurate facsimile, so he sufficed.

Border Security

In addition to opposing bad “trade” deals, the electorate is focused on border security & immigration, two issues they are right to home in on. Economic security holds a place perhaps only second to physical security in the mind of the electorate.

And no state, perhaps with the exception of Arizona, is more familiar with security issues rife within our failed immigration regime than Texas. Naturally, security is a top concern along with trade and economic security for many Americans. That seems clear as day to most of us.

Violent drug cartels, human trafficking rings, and even government gun running programs threaten the safety of U.S. citizens living in Texas, Arizona, and California. And precious little has been done – by either party – to remedy these dangerous scenarios.

Indeed, border security isn’t a top concern for most of Congress, which has failed to completely fund the completion of the border wall Congress called for in 2006.

Texas’s border law enforcement is under-manned and underfunded. The sad state of affairs at our border led me to help fund their personal security effort as they work to secure their communities for their families, friends, and businesses.

It really is a war zone down in south Texas. Our border law enforcement officers deserve more support from the federal government. That’s a position consistent with the Constitution, so it should be one neither tea partiers nor Democrats should take issue with.

Bad Trade Deals, Economic Insecurity, and National Security Risks

When it comes to trade, one would think the Republicans who’ve campaigned against Barack Obama so vociferously would now seek to protect the economy the President has tried to sell across the Pacific. One would be wrong.

We’re talking about a set of career politicians who’ve refused to fund the border wall that’s been provided for by law for nearly ten years.

Are we really to believe they’re as concerned with protecting the interests of the United States economy as their oath of office and constant T.V. and election-year pandering would have us believe?

Many current Representatives, over the course of entire careers spent angling for positions of leadership in Congress, have refused to vocally push for a border wall. All along, they’ve told us “Once I get my leadership position in Congress I’ll be able to do some big things! Just wait! It’ll be great!”

Well, Mr. Brady, now has arrived. He has his position of power. So maybe he’ll come through on all that tough conservative campaign talk. Right?

Apparently not.

According to a report in The Texas Tribune Rep. Kevin Brady is leaving the door open for Obama to pass TPP before his term is over.

To pass the TPP now would demonstrate Chairman Brady’s and Speaker Ryan’s utter disregard for American economic security.

Ramming through this bad trade deal in a lame duck in the face of growing, bipartisan coalition of opposition – and opposition from his party’s base – would reinforce the strongly held belief among many Americans that Congress doesn’t care one iota about national or economic security – not to mention Texas’s border and economic security.

Hillary is running from this bad trade deal. Speaker Ryan is running from ObamaTrade. And top Republicans and Democrats are running from it. The Trans-Pacific Partnership is quickly approaching life-support status.

TPP supporters shouldn’t mess with Texas. And Texas should not bring the TPP back to life.

Paul Nehlen is a successful manufacturing executive who engineers corporate and factory turnarounds and works to repatriate manufacturing facilities to the United States. Nehlen’s recent run for the nomination in Wisconsin’s First Congressional District resulted in Speaker Ryan’s flip-flopping and publicly rescinding his former support for the Trans-Pacific Partnership. Paul lives in Delavan, Wisconsin, with his wife Gabriela.