Alexander Votes for Free Trade

After series of votes, says “free trade means jobs”

Posted on June 24, 2015

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Look at the soybeans Tennessee farmers sell to Asia, the auto parts Tennessee workers sell in Asia and Europe and the medical devices from Memphis and Nashville sold around the world. In return, Tennessee has attracted companies from across the globe that sell their products in the U.S. and abroad, and more than 829,000 jobs in Tennessee depend on trade.” - Lamar Alexander 

WASHINGTON, D.C., June 24, 2015 – U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) today voted for legislation granting Trade Promotion Authority, saying “free trade means jobs.”

“I voted for this legislation because trade agreements can open up foreign markets to U.S. goods and products,” Alexander said. “Ninety-five percent of the world’s consumers live outside of the United States, and they should have the opportunity to purchase goods produced in the U.S.”

Alexander continued, “I support free trade because free trade means jobs. Look at the soybeans Tennessee farmers sell to Asia, the auto parts Tennessee workers sell in Asia and Europe and the medical devices from Memphis and Nashville sold around the world. In return, Tennessee has attracted companies from across the globe that sell their products in the U.S. and abroad, and more than 829,000 jobs in Tennessee depend on trade.”

Alexander voted for Trade Promotion Authority which would extend fast-track procedures to allow Congress to consider trade agreements with other countries. Under the U.S. Constitution, the president can negotiate trade agreements on his own authority, but those agreements usually require legislation to be approved by Congress because Congress has the constitutional power to “regulate commerce with foreign nations.”

Trade Promotion Authority expired in July of 2007, and this legislation would reauthorize this authority until July 2018, with the possibility of extending the authority through July 2021 upon the president’s request. Without it, there will be no votes on any free trade agreements currently under negotiation, including the Trans-Pacific Partnership. The legislation now moves to the president’s desk for approval.

Alexander also voted for legislation that includes Trade Adjustment Assistance, which provides assistance to workers displaced by foreign trade. That legislation now goes to the U.S. House of Representatives for approval.

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For access to this release and the senator’s other statements, click here.

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