Green Skeptical Of Trade Promotion Authority Bill

From left to right: Rep. Gene Green, Rep. Steven Palazzo and Rep Steve Scalise aboard the Noble Energy Bully 1 deepwater drill ship. May 31, 2012. Image provided by Rep. Gene Green
Congressional leaders have introduced a bill that would fast track consideration of international trade agreements. The legislation could have significant ramifications for the Port of Houston and for local manufacturers.

Trade promotion authority requires Congress to give any free trade agreement a straight up-or-down vote — no amendments allowed.

The Obama Administration is negotiating two of America’s largest-ever free trade deals. One would lower trade barriers between the NAFTA nations and Japan. The other would do the same for the U.S. and the European Union. The White House says it needs trade promotion authority to conclude the talks. Houston Congressman Gene Green says he’ll probably vote no.

“Typically I don’t vote to give the president, whether Republican or Democrat, this kind of ability, because I would much rather empower Congress, all 435 of us on the House side, to be able to have more input into it.”

Green’s district includes the Port of Houston, which would benefit from greater trade with Europe and Japan. It also includes chemical plants, whose exports would face more competition.

Bio photo of Andrew Schneider

Andrew Schneider

Business Reporter

Andrew Schneider joined KUHF in January 2011, after more than a decade as a print reporter for The Kiplinger Letter...