To the Contrary

Stand for trade and bring back prosperity

While President Barack Obama brags about his economic record, some of the citizens of South Carolina’s 5th Congressional District continue to lag behind.

U.S. Rep. Mick Mulvaney went to Washington to get the federal budget under control and to help us create jobs back home. While the budget battle appears to be on hold, the issue of jobs is No. 1.

This is certainly an opportunity for Mulvaney to shine.

Right now, the president and Congress are debating the best way to open up markets for American goods and services – goods and services that we make right here in South Carolina.

International trade supports more than one of every five jobs in South Carolina. These jobs grow almost five times faster and they pay about 18 percent more than non-trade-related jobs – exactly the kind of jobs that we need in north central South Carolina.

In order to encourage more of these jobs, I urge Rep. Mulvaney to work with Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., to pass Trade Promotion Authority (TPA), or fast track authority, which gives us a voice early in the negotiations. Without TPA, President Obama can negotiate any deal he likes, leaving Congress to clean up the mess later.

Right now, the United States is knee deep in two significant negotiations – one with 11 other nations in the Asia-Pacific Rim and the other with the European Union. The administration has taken the lead with little to no input from Congress, so far.

Instead of waiting to see what the administration comes up with, we look to our representatives in Washington to get ahead of the agreement by actively participating in the drafting of the TPA, which will give them strict guidelines for negotiations.

As Ryan, chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee who will lead the drafting of the TPA, explained:

“I think of it more as a contract. We say to the administration, if you want this up-or-down vote, you have to meet three requirements: Number one, you have to follow our guidelines. Number two, you have to talk to us. And number three, you have to remember we get the final say.”

With this in mind, I encourage Mick Mulvaney to support the swift passage of TPA and to play an active role in its drafting.

We need open markets. We need to create jobs. And we need it now.