After Senate Democrats helped partially kill—or at least temporarily stall—Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s desire to implement President Barack Obama’s trade agenda on Thursday, McConnell and his fellow GOP leadership folks vowed to bring it back to life again.
But former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, a 2016 GOP presidential candidate, says Republicans should leave it dead rather than hurting American workers with a big, secret trade deal none of them have read.
“Republicans in Congress need to slam on the brakes and refuse to allow President Obama to fast-track a major international trade deal that’s been crafted in secret and whose details remain cloaked in mystery,” Huckabee told Breitbart News in an exclusive quote. “Simply put, President Obama cannot be trusted to negotiate a good deal for American workers. The last thing this Administration fast-tracked was ObamaCare, so all Americans should breath a sigh a relief ObamaTrade failed in the Senate today.”
Since announcing his presidential campaign in Hope, Arkansas last week, Huckabee has struck a more populist tone—coming out against the trade deal and any increase in immigration, legal or illegal, when American workers are struggling.
“I don’t judge the success of government by how many people are on assistance, but by how many people have good jobs and don’t need government assistance,” Huckabee said in his announcement speech. “And we don’t create good jobs for Americans by entering into unbalanced trade deals that forgo Congressional scrutiny and looking the other way as the law is ignored so we can import low wage labor, undercut American workers, and drive wages lower than the Dead Sea.”
Huckabee is not alone in his opposition to the trade deal. On the 2016 trail, standing with him in opposition to Obama’s McConnell-backed trade agenda are Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, and Dr. Ben Carson.
Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) is leading a charge to expose serious concerns with the deal—and he’s gaining allies including Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH), among others. The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) editorial board has launched missives at Sessions, Portman and many more Republicans for standing up to the suspect policies contained within the Trans Pacific Partnership deal that the Trade Promotion Authority bill would fast-track.