Apr 27, 2015
CONGRESSMAN PAUL RYAN DELIVERS WEEKLY REPUBLICAN ADDRESS - TRADE
WASHINGTON, APR 25
WASHINGTON — In this week's Republican Address, House Ways
and Means Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) discusses advancing
America's trade agenda with more accountability and transparency by
establishing trade promotion authority. The address concludes
week, during which the Trade Priorities and
Accountability Act was successfully passed by the committee
to the full House of Representatives.
The full text of the Chairman's address is available below. The
video is available to view and download on Speaker.gov and GOP.gov.
"Hi . . . I'm Paul Ryan . . . chairman of the House Ways and Means
"This week, our committee passed a bill that we are pretty excited
about. It would establish what we call TPA—or 'trade promotion
authority.' And soon that bill will go before
"I think this is one of the most important things Congress can do
for the country right now. So, here's the issue.
"Right now, the United States is negotiating two historic trade
agreements—one with our friends on the Pacific Rim and another with
our friends in Europe. We need these trade agreements so we can lay
down fair and strong rules that tear down trade barriers and open
markets to American products.
"Ninety six percent of the world's consumers—they don't live in the
United States; they live in other countries. We have to make more
things in America and sell them overseas, so we can create more
jobs here at home. And when we do, America's workers will benefit.
Manufacturing jobs that rely on trade pay 16 percent more on
"But today, the deck is stacked against our workers in far too many
places. We let other countries sell their products over here. But
they've put up trade barriers that make it hard to sell our
products over there.
"These trade agreements will level the playing field for America's
workers. But to complete them, we need TPA.
"So what is it?
"TPA is a process for getting the most effective trade agreements
possible—and holding the administration accountable all along the
"TPA puts Congress in the driver's seat—because it lets Congress
set the agenda. We say to the administration three things. First,
here are your negotiating objectives—150 of them. Tear down
barriers to our products. Beef up protections for our intellectual
property. Get rid of kickbacks for foreign-government
"Second, here are your transparency requirements. To name a few:
You've got to let any member of Congress read the negotiating
offers at any time. You even have to allow any member to attend the
negotiating rounds. And 60 days before the administration even
agrees to any agreement, you've got to publish the full text so the
American people can read it for themselves.
"And third, Congress gets the final say. If you meet all the
requirements, we'll give the agreement an up-or-down vote—without
amendment. This will give our trading partners the confidence they
need to make their best offers.
"But if the administration doesn't do all we've said, we can cancel
the vote, change it, or stop it completely. In short, TPA will hold
the administration accountable and get us the highest quality
"The stakes are high—because in the global economy, if you're not
moving forward, you're falling behind. China is negotiating trade
deals all over the world, and they're trying to rig the rules in
their favor. So it all comes down to this question: Is China going
to write the rules of the global economy, or are
"Are we going to rise to the occasion and provide American
leadership in the world?
"This is our challenge—and our opportunity. We have a chance here
to write the rules on our terms. . . to raise other countries to
our standards . . . to create more opportunity for our
"All across the country, people are coming together to support TPA:
farmers, ranchers, manufacturers, Democrats, Republicans. Theyknow
the stakes. They know what this means for our country. And Congress
should not let them down.
"We're the only country that can do this. We're the only country
that can stand up for free enterprise and the rule of law. This is
our moment. It's our chance to lead . . . to restore American
leadership in the world.
"We've still got a lot of work to do. But it all begins with TPA
and this vote. Thank you."