Tags: John McCain | mccain | approve | trade | legislation | gop address

McCain: Time to Approve Bipartisan Trade Agreement

Saturday, 16 May 2015 09:52 AM

Sen. John McCain called on his fellow lawmakers in Saturday's weekly GOP address to approve bipartisan trade legislation that is now before the Senate, saying that the United States "can't afford to wall itself off" the world.

"We don't often agree with President [Barack] Obama, [but] on issues where we do share common ground, we’ll work for bipartisan solutions that make sense for the country," the Arizona Republican said. "That’s particularly true when it comes to opening foreign markets to American goods and services."

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On Thursday, the Republican-controlled Senate put Obama's trade bill back on course when it voted 65-33 to resurrect the measure. Many Congressional Democrats, though, oppose the legislation, claiming that it will cost American jobs.

The legislation, Trade Promotion Authority (TPA), will help to advance the Trans-Pacific Partnership and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, "two major trade agreements that offer a truly historic opportunity to open markets and level playing fields in some of the world's most dynamic and fastest-growing economies," said McCain.

Typically, expanding trade has bipartisan support, said McCain, noting that "40 million American jobs are supported by international trade" and that those jobs pay 13-18 percent higher than the average national wage.

"Americans can't afford to wall itself off from the vast opportunities that lie outside our borders where 95 percent of the world's consumers live," said McCain. "But that’s what many Senate Democrats are suggesting we do in their transparent effort to curry favor with labor bosses."

But the United States can't refuse to compete in the global economy, or it will lose jobs and opportunities now and in the future, said McCain.

Protectionism also threatens the ability to grow the economy and create jobs, and failure on the trade agreements "would be a serious blow to American influence in the world," the senator said. "Passing TPA would be powerful proof of our enduring commitment to American leadership."

The Trans-Pacific Partnership would cover an area accounting for 40 percent of the world's GDP and one third of global trade, while strengthening relationships with Japan, Malaysia, Vietnam, and Australia and providing strategic counterweight to China.

“If America fails to lead, China will," the veteran said. "That's an unacceptable outcome for our economy, our security and for the values that we hold dear.

He pointed out that 17 former Secretaries of Defense and top military leaders including Secretary Bob Gates and General David Petraeus have also agreed that there would be "harmful strategic consequences" if the agreements aren't approved.

Democrats who oppose the agreements are "telling us to be afraid," said McCain, but "we don’t fear the world. We lead it."

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Sen. John McCain called on his fellow lawmakers in Saturday's weekly GOP address to approve bipartisan trade legislation that is now before the Senate, saying that the United States can't afford to wall itself off the world.
mccain, approve, trade, legislation, gop address
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2015-52-16
Saturday, 16 May 2015 09:52 AM
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