Nunes says government needs to refocus on trade agreements

Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) said on Oct. 1 at a Ripon Society breakfast meeting that the longer the government shutdown lasts, the farther away from resolving trade issues legislators get.

Nunes, the chairman of the Ways and Means Subcommittee on Trade, said the issue of passing Trade Promotion Authority has been pushed aside by the government shutdown, and President Obama lacks urgency in passing the legislation.

“I’m getting concerned that there’s not a lot of pressure from the administration on TPA,” Nunes said. “I don’t think they want much input from Congress… I will say that the U.S. Trade Representative does do a good job of keeping us informed on the committee. However, there are a lot of other members that need to be informed too.”

TPA would allow the president to negotiate and submit trade deals to Congress for straight majority votes, and keep Congress from adding amendments or filibusters.

“The thing that members need to understand is that even if they’re not going to be for the trade agreements, the should be for TPA,” Nunes said. “Because without that, you have an administration that is going to do whatever they want to do, without any guidance by the Congress.”