Letter: Say no to 'fast track' trade authority

Jan. 19, 2014 @ 05:36 AM

To the editor:

Why does Mark Meadows want to violate the Constitution of the United States and abdicate congressional responsibilities to the executive branch?

Section 8 of the Constitution stipulates that Congress shall have the responsibility and authority to regulate trade. By supporting Trade Promotion Authority (also known as Fast Track) Meadows is saying that Congress should abdicate its responsibilities to the executive branch. This bill allows the administration to bind the United States into trade agreements without congressional approval. The combination of bad trade agreements (under the guise of "free trade") has now accumulated over $7 trillion in U.S. foreign debt, all of which comes from trade deficits over time. The real cost has been millions of American jobs lost. Trade Promotion Authority allows the Obama administration to bind the United States into the worst trade agreement we've ever seen -- one that fails to deal with the myriad techniques used to make sure the U.S. cannot compete (border taxes, currency manipulation, non-tariff schemes); puts foreign interests in front of U.S. interests in our own trade courts; subordinates U.S. laws to international tribunals; cedes U.S. sovereignty to state-owned enterprises and multi-national corporations. For more specifics on what is wrong with the Trans-Pacific Partnership (a proposed trade agreement between the U.S. and 11 Pacific Rim nations) visit the website of The Coalition for a Prosperous America. Greasing the path for a trade agreement shrouded in secret negotiations is precisely what Trade Promotion Authority accomplishes.

Why is Mark Meadows driven to kill U.S. jobs and give away our sovereignty by ducking Congress' constitutional obligations? Ignorance of the realities involved in international trade is one excuse. Becoming a pawn of globalism-driven entities like the Club for Growth is another. Whatever the reason, Meadows' position on TPA and support of the Trans-Pacific Partnership are counter to the interests of the people of North Carolina. "Help" like this in Congress we don't need.

Note that as of Jan. 14, 170 members of the House had signed letters opposing TPP and TPA. Also, 53 Tea Party organizations had signed onto a petition opposing TPA. This is no small issue.

Robert W. Johns

Granite Falls