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Congressman John Garamendi’s Statement on Second Trade Promotion Authority Vote

June 18, 2015
Press Release

Congressman John Garamendi’s Statement on Second Trade Promotion Authority Vote

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Congressman John Garamendi (D-Fairfield, CA) voted no for a second time on so-called ‘Fast Track’ Trade Promotion Authority (TPA), which was inserted into an unrelated bill on public safety benefits. TPA sets the stage for the Trans-Pacific Partnership and other future trade bills by granting six years of authority for a President to negotiate trade deals and present them to Congress for an ‘up-or-down vote’ – all without any meaningful input from the people’s elected representatives in Congress.

“I voted no on Fast Track last week. I voted no this week. And if they bring it up next week, I’ll vote no again,” Congressman Garamendi said. “I will not vote to cede my responsibility and obligation to shape trade agreements to suit the needs of my constituents, I will not vote to undermine our ability to enact ‘Buy American’ policies to revitalize American manufacturing, and I will not vote to continue the same free-trade policies that have contributed to the loss of millions of manufacturing jobs. Moreover, this version of Trade Promotion Authority will likely forbid us from addressing climate change in trade deals. That’s a tragic step backwards in confronting a major threat to humanity.”

Garamendi continued, “Fast Track gives the Executive Branch unilateral authority to negotiate any trade deal with any country for the next six years. That’s not just President Obama—the next President will have the same authority. Can you imagine a President Trump negotiating trade deals without the input of Congress? That image should scare both sides of the aisle.”

Since the day he entered Congress, Congressman Garamendi has worked to advance Buy America/Make It In America policies. He believes that your tax dollars must be spent on American-made equipment, goods, and services – not on imported steel as happened with the Oakland-San Francisco Bay Bridge. This domestic content policy is similar to policies pursued by most of our nation’s economic competitors. He will resolutely oppose any trade deal that undermines this important work.

The full bill, including TPA, passed the House by a vote of 218-208.