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Rep. Lynn Westmoreland, R-Ga, one of the candidates for House Speaker, opposed ObamaTrade
Howard Richman, 10/8/2015

With the resignation of House Speaker Boehner and the decision of Rep. Kevin McCarthy not to seek the speakership, the race for House Speaker is wide open. Only one of the candidates currently being mentioned, Rep. Lynn Westmoreland of Georgia, voted against Obamatrade. Here is a selection from an local newspaper article about why he opposed it:

According to Westmoreland, there were basically three reasons why he chose not to vote for the TPA. First, he felt the forthcoming TPP did not seem to have either agricultural and textile trade finalized, two areas of commerce very important to Georgia. There have been many textile jobs lost in Georgia over the years, Westmoreland said, and it is hard to vote for something that will not aid the state’s textile industry.

Second, Westmoreland said he felt like the Obama administration was not following the guidelines in the TPA throughout negotiations. According to the Congressional Research Service, some of these guidelines include – negotiating a trade agreement during the limited time period when the promotion authority is in effect, negotiating with extensive notifications to and consultations with Congress, and the president must submit to Congress a draft of the implemented negotiations.

And last, Westmoreland was not happy with the political maneuvering involving the TPA and the TAA, Trade Adjustment Assistance, which offers financial aid to American workers displaced because of foreign trade. In an attempt to have the TPA passed faster, lawmakers initially had it bundled with the TAA – most Democrats did not support the TPA, but they did support the TAA. However, the bundled TAA and TPA failed to pass in the House.

The candidacy of Rep. Lynn Westmoreland gives the Republicans in Congress a chance to change course. We urge them to examine the polls for the Republican nomination for President. Did support for Obamatrade boost JEB Bush's campaign? No! He's been sinking steadily in the polls! Did it boost Gov. Rick Perry's campaign? No! He was the first to drop out! Did it boost Gov. Scott Walker's campaign? No! He was the second to drop out! Who is surging with 32% in a crowded field? Outspoken Obamatrade opponent Donald Trump. 

The race for speaker gives the Republican Congress a chance to change course. So far, they've been doing the bidding of the donor class. Maybe it's time for them to start listening to their voters!

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Comment by correction, 10/15/2015:

I believe you mean "Rep. Lynn Westmoreland" rather than "Rep. Lynn McCarthy" in the second to last paragraph.

Response to this comment by Howard Richman, 10/17/2015:
Thank you! I fixed the original.

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  • [An] extensive argument for balanced trade, and a program to achieve balanced trade is presented in Trading Away Our Future, by Raymond Richman, Howard Richman and Jesse Richman. “A minimum standard for ensuring that trade does benefit all is that trade should be relatively in balance.” [Balanced Trade entry]

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  • [Trading Away Our Future] Examines the costs and benefits of U.S. trade and tax policies. Discusses why trade deficits matter; root of the trade deficit; the “ostrich” and “eagles” attitudes; how to balance trade; taxation of capital gains; the real estate tax; the corporate income tax; solving the low savings problem; how to protect one’s assets; and a program for a strong America....

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