On Monday’s broadcast of Fox Business Network’s “Lou Dobbs Tonight,” Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) discussed the push for granting President Barack Obama fast-track trade authority and in particular the so-called Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement.
In that appearance, Sessions told Dobbs he was going to offer an amendment that would prevent the legislation from being used as a back door avenue to alter current U.S. immigration policy.
“Well, they’ve used trade agreements in the past to dramatically alter established law and bring in more immigrants,” Sessions said. “That has been done previously. I have objected a number of years ago and we got a unanimous resolution passed in the Senate, bipartisan that would say never again will we amend immigration law as part of a trade agreement. Yet, there’s indications that this administration will be able to do that. They said not, so we’re going to offer an amendment that would make sure that this doesn’t happen. It will be interesting to see if they’re willing to support it since it would appear to comport with what they say they intend to do. But I have my doubts.”
Sessions explained that the idea that all trade agreements are good should be challenged and any deal should be evaluated so that it can be determined whether or not it is in the best interest of the American people.
“I think it’s time, Lou – let me just be frank, I think it’s time for us to reevaluate this orthodox view that every trade agreement is good and we should just keep signing on to them,” Sessions said. “I believe we need good trade agreements that advance the interests of the American people, the American working people and not just capital managers who can move capital anywhere in the world anytime. I think we need to ask what’s in the interest of the American people. That has not been sufficiently done. And I believe we should head in that direction.”
“Trade is good,” he added. “We are not against trade. We can enhance trade. But I’ll tell you – the day when we can enter into a trade agreement that cost one job improperly in America as a result of unfair trade practices by our partners and trading allies is over. That needs to end and we need to defend the American worker, American manufacturing on the world stage. I don’t see how we can be a great nation without manufacturing and that needs to be analyzed deeply here, I think.”
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