A Nebraska Congressman reviewing the Trans-Pacific Partnership doesn’t want a thorough study to be derailed by presidential politics.
Congressman Adrian Smith says he didn’t really think TPP would become an issue in the presidential race.
“I’ve been a little bit surprised,” Smith says with a chuckle, “But, with this campaign, presidential election cycle, nothing surprises me anymore.”
Smith hasn’t been surprised by Democrat Hillary Clinton’s criticism, but been thrown a little bit off by the criticism of fellow Republican Donald Trump.
“He kind of makes some broad statements that aren’t reflecting the positive aspects, some of the very positive aspects of trade and that includes increasing exports previously through various trade agreements,” Smith tells Nebraska Radio Network.
According to the Office of the United States Trade Representative, the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is an ambitious, 21st century trade agreement that the United States is negotiating with 11 other countries throughout the Asia-Pacific region (Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, and Vietnam).
The office says completion of the partnership could increase access to some of the fastest growing markets in the world.
President Barack Obama has been aggressively pushing TPP, hoping to get it approved by Congress this year.
Smith, as a member of the House Ways and Means Committee, has been assigned to study a portion of the agreement. Smith also would like Congress to make a decision this year, but wants it done right.
“I think that, moving forward though, we want to improve trade policy and we want to look at opportunities to accomplish that.”
Congress cannot amend the agreement. It either accepts it or rejects it.
AUDIO: Brent Martin reports [:45]