Thank you for contacting me regarding the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and other United States trade issues. I appreciate you taking the time to share your thoughts.
As you know, the TPP is a proposed multilateral free trade agreement currently being negotiated among eleven countries, including the United States, in the Asia-Pacific region. The latest round of negotiations ended in August in Brunei. Negotiations among the parties are ongoing, and no public text of an agreement has been made available.
Fast Track authority is a mechanism that would allow the president to negotiate international trade agreements on behalf of the United States. Congress must then vote on whether to implement the agreement, but would not be allowed to amend or filibuster it. Therefore, Fast Track authority shortcuts the ordinary Constitutional process for implementing trade agreements. Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution gives Congress the power, "To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations." I have serious concerns with processes that abdicate Congressional powers and responsibilities to the Executive branch. Checks and balances are in the Constitution for a reason, and each branch should be limited in its actions to its Constitutionally-defined role.
Global trade is one of the keys to building a stronger economy, and it should remain on our economic agenda. However, we must ensure that global trade does not hinder our nation's ability to provide meaningful employment to America's citizens. Many parts of Southside and Southwest Virginia have experienced higher than average unemployment rates for years. We need solutions that promote job creation and rein in government spending, resulting in economic growth. Lower taxes, sensible regulation, and a playing field not tilted so heavily towards foreign countries will allow private enterprises in Southside and Southwest Virginia to regain their competitive advantage due to innovation and a strong work ethic.
Please know that I will keep your thoughts in mind when I have the opportunity to vote on legislation in the House of Representatives regarding free trade agreements and Fast Track authority.For more information on what is happening in Congress, please visit my website at www.morgangriffith.house.gov . If I may be of further assistance to you on this, or any other issue, please feel free to contact me in my Washington, DC office at (202) 225-3861. I remain
|Sincerely yours, |
H. MORGAN GRIFFITH Member of Congress "