Congressman Himes' Statement:
"Today, after months of careful consideration, I have decided to support granting President Obama Trade Promotion Authority, also known as TPA.
"TPA is a delegation of Congressional authority, and I take all such delegations very seriously. However, this is not a new idea. It has been granted to every president, with the exception of Richard Nixon, for the past 50 years. The most recent iteration of this authority expired in 2007, and President Obama has now requested that Congress grant a renewal. It would be almost historically unprecedented if we did not extend that to him.
"I have closely reviewed the TPA legislation and read the current draft of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). TPA opens the door to consideration of the TPP, a potential agreement between 12 Pacific Rim countries representing 40% of global GDP. The TPP offers the potential for rich export opportunities and many more high-paying export jobs. It can also require the improvement of environmental and labor standards in countries where those do not exist. If TPP does those things, I’ll support it. If not, I won’t.
"Make no mistake, Connecticut is an export economy, and growing global trade and markets will help strengthen our middle class. In 2013 there were $16.4 billion in Connecticut exports. $11.9 billion, or 67.5%, of that came from the Congressional District I represent.
"I believe in the ability of the American worker to outcompete and succeed, and that we, instead of China, should set standards and establish values. In my opinion, it is more likely that we’ll be able to achieve this goal through engagement than by walking away. TPA allows the President the opportunity to make this happen."