In this week’s Republican address, Sen. Johnny Isakson of Georgia makes the case of congressional passage of the Trade Promotion Authority, which he argues will give U.S. trade negotiators the authority to complete the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement with Japan, as well as other agreements.
Isakson was Tuesday’s KVML “Newsmaker of the Day”. Here are his words:
“Hello, this is United States Senator Johnny Isakson from the great state of Georgia.
In my state of Georgia, 1.2 million jobs are directly related to international trade.
In the last 10 years, Georgia’s exports to our trading partners grew by 69 percent.
With the negotiations on trade deals that are ongoing, we expect that to just continue.
Next year, the Panama Canal is opening to the larger ships of the 21st century.
We are racing in my state to complete the expansion of the Savannah Harbor to accommodate those larger ships bringing goods and service from the rest of the globe to America.
This project will make the city of Savannah, the state of Georgia, and the entire Southeast a hub of global imports and exports.
But if we don’t pass trade promotion authority, we will risk losing all those goods and services they carry — going elsewhere around the world.
I am thrilled the Bipartisan Congressional Trade Priorities and Accountability Act of 2015 is coming to the floor of the Senate.
Its passage will help promote American workers and American jobs by setting out clear objectives — mandated by Congress — that the president must achieve in international trade agreements.
The legislation will go for six years and requires presidents of either party to consult with Congress before final approval of any agreement.
Congress still has the final say in approving a trade agreement.
And I want to be very clear — this legislation does not guarantee approval of any proposed trade agreement.
Every trade agreement will still be scrutinized by your representatives and by the senators in Congress.
Republicans will not support any attempt to override U.S. law by sneaking extra provisions into any trade agreement.
That includes provisions on immigration policies.
Trade promotion authority does not give any president any new authority to expand immigration or change other laws without the approval of the Congress of the United States.
Trade should not be — nor is it ever intended to be — a partisan issue.
It is about creating more jobs for the American people and helping hardworking American families.
Raising the prosperity of the American people is the best way to raise revenue while also raising hope and opportunity.
This trade promotion authority legislation does precisely that.
Fair and open trade promotes more American agriculture, American manufacturing and American jobs.
So many great examples of the benefits of free trade can be found around America can be found in my home state of Georgia.
One example is Caterpillar.
Thanks to a favorable trade condition, Caterpillar was able to move part of its overseas manufacturing operation back to United States of America – including bringing a plant back and hundreds of jobs to my state of Georgia in 2013.
That’s what Trade Promotion Authority has the potential to do for all of America.
It’s going to expand trade and expand opportunity for the American people.
This is going to ensure that America — not China or any other country — is at the forefront of writing the global rules of economy and trade in the world.
And it is going to empower America through jobs and economic growth.
When members of Congress vote on the Bipartisan Trade Priorities and Accountability Act, I hope they will cast a vote in favor for free trade.
I hope they will choose innovation over isolation.
Promoting trade promotes innovation.
Innovation, competition and hard work are the very attributes that make the American people and the United States the leader on the global stage.
We should never fear competition and hard work.
America should continue to be the leader we have always been in terms of technology, ingenuity and trade.
Trade promotion authority is good for America.
It’s good for our country and it’s good for our economy.
And it’s good for middle-class American families who will reap the benefits of more jobs.
Thank you for listening and God bless the United States of America.”
The “Newsmaker of the Day” is heard every weekday morning on AM 1450 KVML at 6:45, 7:45 and 8:45 AM.