Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, a 2016 GOP presidential candidate and one of the most ardent opponents of the emerging secret trade deal on Capitol Hill, is sounding the alarm to the public. In a statement provided exclusively to Breitbart News, Huckabee noted that almost every member of Congress who supports granting President Barack Obama Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) to fast-track his Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Pacific Rim trade deal has yet to visit the secret room inside the Capitol to read it.
“Obamatrade is a secret deal that most members of Congress who support it admit they haven’t been to the secret room to read the secret deal,” Huckabee said in an email to Breitbart News.
Huckabee’s comments come as several in House GOP leadership are beginning to admit that, though they support Obamatrade—TPA and TPP collectively—they haven’t been to a room inside the Capitol to read the text of TPP.
Rep. Jeff Duncan (R-SC), in an op-ed for Breitbart News in which he came out against Obamatrade, described the secret room in the Capitol.
What is in this agreement known as TPP? I, as a United States Congressman, can read the negotiations. However, in order to read them, I must be in a classified reading room in the Capitol, sign a non-disclosure agreement which assures that I will not discuss the contents of what I have read, and I am allowed to take notes, but I have to leave them in the room.
Huckabee went on his statement to slam trade deals over the past several decades that he says have caused a loss in American manufacturing jobs.
Well, here’s something that’s no secret: Since 2000, America has lost 5 million manufacturing jobs and seen 60,000 manufacturing plants closed. Since 1990, our trade deficit has mushroomed to nearly $11 trillion. Giving more power to a President who has abused his power with unlawful and overreaching executive orders makes as much sense as giving car keys and a bottle of whiskey to an alcoholic who doesn’t know how to drive.
Huckabee added that this deal isn’t true free or fair trade, despite what its proponents frequently say.
Free trade is a great thing, but if we fail to enforce the current trade deals, what makes us Americans think we’ll enforce this one. Haven’t we made the workers of other countries rich enough? Shouldn’t we be focusing on good jobs for American families? Maybe this would be a great deal for the donor class on Wall Street and the political class in Washington, but I think someone needs to be fighting for the working class because they’re getting punched in the gut with these great deals.
Huckabee’s comments slamming those in Congress who support Obamatrade for not having read it—which as Breitbart News has reported over the past couple days definitely includes House Rules Committee chairman Rep. Pete Sessions (R-TX), House Majority Whip Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA) and probably House Speaker Rep. John Boehner (R-OH).
Huckabee has been consistently and frequently calling out Obamatrade during this presidential campaign. He went after it in his announcement speech in Hope, Arkansas, last month and has used several interviews and other speeches to hammer Obamatrade. He’s also been fighting against it at key points in the battle via social media, pushing his supporters nationwide to pressure their members of Congress to vote against it.
On Thursday on Facebook, Huckabee noted that the leaked trade documents via WikiLeaks prove that the few Republicans in Washington who think Obama can be trusted with Obamatrade are wrong.
“Why do some Republicans in Washington think we can trust President Obama?” Huckabee wrote on his Facebook page, adding: “Leaked documents from the Trade in Services Agreement (TISA) revealed that President Obama could outsource vast chunks and control of our economy, especially the Internet, to foreign diplomats and regulators. This information should be a loud wake-up-call for Republicans in Congress who think we can trust President Obama with a new TPP trade deal.”
Most 2016 GOP presidential candidates are, like Huckabee, against Obamatrade. However, Sens. Ted Cruz (R-TX), Marco Rubio (R-FL), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush support it. Cruz did read the text of Obamatrade before voting for it in the Senate a couple weeks ago, but Rubio continues refusing to answer whether he did or not—choosing to give off the public impression while he’s running for president that he votes for substantial legislation while not reading it.
Carly Fiorina, Dr. Ben Carson, former Sen. Rick Santorum, Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal and more declared or potential 2016 candidates oppose Obamatrade.