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Rep. Bob Goodlatte: Everything You Think You Know About Trade Authorization is Wrong

Created: 11 June, 2015
Updated: 15 October, 2022
2 min read

U.S. Representative Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) is trying to set the record straight about Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) -- the so called "fast-track" for authorizing the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). In an email sent out on Thursday, Goodlatte fact checks the most common misconceptions about TPA and the TPP.

While some lawmakers want voters to believe that TPA would lead to all sorts of outcomes -- including forfeiting our national sovereignty, more illegal immigration, and creating a "Pacific Union akin to the European Union" --  Goodlatte points out that the TPA is not a trade agreement so there is no way it could possibly do any of these things.

The TPP is the trade agreement and there are some misconceptions about what fast-tracking the agreement means. Here's what the Virginia representative says you need to know:

  • Congress is not voting on any trade agreement this week. There are no finalized trade agreements even eligible for consideration. If the President were to agree to one in principle tomorrow, it could not be voted on in the House for many months and would be required to be made public for at least 60 days prior to a vote.
  • TPA does not cede American sovereignty over any aspect of our nation’s laws, regulations, or Constitution. American law can only be changed by Congress and agreed to by the President.
  • TPA gives Congress and the American public greater oversight of any proposed trade agreements. It puts strong checks and balances in place to guarantee the American public has transparency over the process. The House of Representatives would have the power to “switch-off” TPA if the President doesn’t follow the law or congressional intent.
  • Free trade creates American jobs, strengthens the economy, expands American export markets, bolsters national security, and is a fundamental principle behind a free market economy. Trade Promotion Authority will increase choices and lower costs for Sixth District farmers, workers, consumers, and businesses.

Here is a general overview of what TPA is. Also, check out this article from The Federalist about the 9 biggest myths about TPA and the TPP.