Boustany: “America (Is) Ready to Lead with Trade”
In this column from U.S. Rep. Charles Boustany (R-Lafayette), he makes the case "that America is ready to step up and lead" when it comes to trade with countries across the globe, especially with the new Congress that took over in January.
Boustany makes the case for the Bipartisan Congressional Trade Priorities and Accountability Act (TPA) as both House and Senate leaders of both parties reached that agreement "that will pave the way for achieving 21st-century trade agreements with Asia and Europe."
Read Boustany's thoughts below:
"Getting things done is coming back in fashion in Congress, as the body begins to rack up achievements like the first major entitlement reform in decades and making progress on a budget. This month, House and Senate leaders of both parties reached an agreement on the Bipartisan Congressional Trade Priorities and Accountability Act (TPA), landmark legislation that will pave the way for achieving 21st-century trade agreements with Asia and Europe.
Trade has tremendous positive impact on the lives of Americans. According to the Business Roundtable, trade supports 1 in 5 U.S. jobs. Trade jobs pay more, estimated at 18% higher on average, and trade has a positive effect on family budgets, saving the average American family more than $13,000 per year. Additionally, according to the Organization for International Investment, trade agreements under consideration have the potential to create 17,400 new jobs and attract $1.5 billion in new investment in Louisiana if enacted. Open markets are essential for supporting economic growth and jobs in the U.S.
But, TPA is more than just a trade bill. Yes, it's necessary for economic growth and job creation in our country; more importantly, it's the catalyst for American leadership abroad. This legislation provides the opportunity for the United States to set the rules for foreign economic engagement.
The world is not standing still. Economic growth and integration are going on right now at a furious pace in Asia, Europe, and around the world. I firmly believe these countries are looking to us for leadership – but they won’t wait if we don’t get our act together soon.
This is an historic moment to broadcast to the world that America is ready to step up and lead. This agreement has bipartisan momentum. Allowing this debate to deteriorate into partisan squabbling will send the wrong message to the rest of the world, fueling the argument by America's skeptics that the United States government is dysfunctional.
Congress must clearly articulate what its priorities are for current and future trade negotiations and follow through with vigilant oversight. This is exactly what TPA is. TPA is Congress exerting its responsibility to hold the Administration's feet to the fire and ensure the American people get a great deal. Let's seize this moment and prove to those who doubt our resolve that America is back, better than ever, and ready to lead."