Paul Ryan Likely to Strong-Arm Obama Trade Deal as Speaker of the House

Rod Lamkey/Getty Images

Anyone voting for Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) for Speaker of the House should think twice when it comes to passing President Obama’s trade agenda, as Ryan was one of the strongest advocates to grant Obama fast-track trade authority under the Trade Promotion Authority (TPA), which only gives Congress an up or down vote – without issuing any amendments – on a trade deal.

“It should be deeply concerning to everyone should Mr. Ryan end up as Speaker given his strident support for Obama’s trade agenda,” said Rick Manning, the President of Americans for Limited Government, who explained, “The Speaker of the House should be a facilitator of this honest discussion rather than a strong-arming advocate.”

Earlier this summer, Breitbart News reported about the secrecy and controversy surrounding Obama’s pending trade agenda, which includes the recently finalized Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP), as well as the Trades in Services Act (TiSA) and the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP).

Breitbart News exposed the secretive nature of the trade deal, highlighting that it was being kept in a secured room on Capitol Hill. The press and public are not able review the list of the members of Congress that actually read the deal prior to voting on it, and in fact, members of Congress are not allowed to even bring their staff with them or take notes out of the room.

Breitbart News also drew attention to the fact that part of Obama’s trade deal contains a controversial immigration chapter located in the Trade in Services Agreement (TiSA)–which was leaked by WikiLeaks–that allegedly alters current U.S. immigration law.

Breitbart’s story on the secret immigration chapter made headlines, as Ryan appeared on Fox News dismissing the reports.

“Let’s talk about trade. Very odd situation – the president is fighting without Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), without Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-MD), with Republicans to get his trade authority passed through. You’ve already discovered through Breitbart and others that there were some provisions in there for climate change, provisions in there for immigration,” Brian Kilmeade asked Ryan during an appearance on Fox and Friends. “You’ve looked to knock that out and push this forward. Where are you at with trade authority? And are you questioning your own support of it?”

Ryan dismissed the reporting Kilmeade cited as unreliable:

Look, first of all, don’t believe everything you read on the Internet, Brian. Just let me give you a little tip there. Second of all, this is why we need to pass Trade Promotion Authority. What we have in Trade Promotion Authority is a prevention of any immigration changes, of any climate change legislation going into a trade agreement. So by passing Trade Promotion Authority, we’re putting congress in the driver’s seat which is transparency.

Congressional sources have told Breitbart News that once Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) is granted, Congress only gets an up or down vote on the trade deal and cannot offer any amendments to change provisions within the agreement. Furthermore, in the past 40 years, every trade deal that has been granted TPA has been passed by Congress.

Furthermore, a FOIA request last month revealed Ryan was either lying or misinformed, as there is in fact a chapter on immigration contained in the trade deal.

Congress granted Obama fast-track trade authority through the TPA earlier this year and is set to take up the completed Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal early next year. Reports suggest the TPP will impact roughly 40 percent of the world economy and that Vietnam is the big winner in the deal, not America.

“I think that Obama’s trade agenda will be the most important non-budget issue facing this Congress and indeed for the remainder of the Obama Presidency,” Manning told Breitbart News. “What Obama is proposing fundamentally changes the world’s economic system and it should not pass Congress without a full and thorough investigation.”


Please let us know if you're having issues with commenting.