NFU Says Trade Promotion Authority Goes Against ConstitutionFri, 01 May 2015 18:28:19 CDT
The National Farmers Union isn't excited about where Congress is going. Later on this month, the full House and Senate will consider Trade Promotion Authority (TPA). This provides the President with the ability to "fast track" trade negotiations and trade agreements are voted on by Congress with an up or down vote. NFU Senior Vice President of Programs Chandler Goule said NFU opposes TPA because it goes against the Constitution.
"The United States Constitution says that it is the U.S. Congress who is to enter into trade agreements with foreign counties and when you pass something like TPA, you are basically signing away your constitutional rights," Goule said. "You are handcuffing your Senators, you are handcuffing your Congressman, but really what you're doing is you are taking away the voice from family farmers and ranchers to make sure we don't have additional dairy products coming in and offsetting our domestic production, to guarantee we are going to get that beef export market that was promised in that deal or to make sure that we don't take on more sugar from Australia. You basically tied your Congressman to a yes-no vote and the true loser at the end is the family farmer and rancher."
With TPA, trade negotiations would be voted on by Congress with a up or down vote. Goule said that limits the ability of American farmers and ranchers along with citizens from voicing their concerns with trade agreements, because Congress does not have the ability to amend these trade agreements.
In looking at the Trans-Pacific Partnership, NFU said they don't support the agreement. Goule said the agreement follows the same blueprint as the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). With the U.S. having a $505 billion dollar trade deficit, Goule said that puts a three percent drag on the U.S. gross domestic product (GDP). He said every free trade agreement increases the U.S. trade deficit, so NFU believes the U.S. Trade Representative's office needs to make sure trade agreements get rid of the trade deficit.
In the interview, Radio Oklahoma Network Ron Hays talks with Goule about Country of Origin Labeling and the latest efforts of the Beef Checkoff Working Group. Click or tap on the LISTENBAR below to listen to full interview.
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