NEW YORK – Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee declared Monday to WND in simple terms why he opposes the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement that President Obama wants to move through Congress with “fast-track” authority.
“I’m not a globalist, I’m an American,” Huckabee told WND. “As president, I will do everything in my power to protect the American worker first.”
As WND reported Friday, U.S. Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., called on Obama to let the public see the closely guarded contents of the deal, which the senator called the creation of a “nascent European Union.”
“For far too long,” Huckabee told WND, “the American workers have been getting punched in the gut because of unbalanced trade deals that forgo congressional scrutiny, ignore the law, and drive wages lower than the Dead Sea.”
The former Arkansas governor said what’s worse is “that most members of Congress who say they ‘support’ Obamatrade admit they haven’t even been to the secret room to read this secret deal.”
Only lawmakers and certain senior staff are allowed to read the text kept in the secured room in the basement of the U.S. Capitol.
Huckabee expressed concern the Republican leadership in Congress was siding with Obama in the effort to pass so-called Trade Promotion Authority legislation, which would allow passage of trade deals such as the TPP on a simple majority vote that limits discussion and bars amendments.
“I have no idea why Republicans in Congress think we can trust this president to negotiate Obamatrade,” said Huckabee, referring to the term used by some to describe the package of “fast-track” authority and the TPP and other trade deals.
“President Obama can’t be trusted to negotiate a deal on a secondhand Subaru, let alone a trillion-dollar trade deal like TPP,” he said.
“Obama is an expert at using chaos, controversy, and the threat of economic Armageddon to advance his liberal agenda, kill jobs and hurt American workers,” Huckabee said.
“The last time we rushed something through Congress without knowing what was in it was Obamacare.”
He said Congress “should stand against this president’s secret trade deal and stand for the American worker – who’s been crushed for far too long.”
Despite Obama’s advocacy, the TPP is opposed by most Democrats in the House. Top labor unions contend the deal will result in the loss of millions of American jobs.
In the Senate, Democrats initially blocked Trade Promotion Authority, but it passed 62-37 last month, with only five Republicans voting no. The no votes were Sessions and Sens. Susan Collins of Maine, Mike Lee of Utah, Rand Paul of Kentucky and Richard Shelby of Alabama.
Along with Huckabee, among the likely and declared candidates for the Republican presidential nomination in 2016, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, former Sen. Rick Santorum, Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., Carly Fiorina and Dr. Ben Carson have voiced opposition to TPP.
In support of TPP are former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and Sens. Sens. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, Marco Rubio, R-Fla., and Lindsey Graham, R-S.C.
Meanwhile, Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Calif., is pressuring House GOP leadership – particularly Majority Leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif. – to delay plans to move Obamatrade quickly through the House, Breitbart News reported Monday.
Hunter raised some of the same concerns Sessions brought to Obama’s attention Friday, asking that any vote on fast-track authority be delayed until the president makes public the TPP text and information regarding a commission established by the deal that wields international authority.
Earlier Monday, as WND was first to report, Huckabee said China’s hacking of the sensitive personal information of 4 million federal employees – the largest theft of government data in American history – requires a retaliatory strike.
He noted Adm. Mike Rogers, director of the National Security Agency and commander of U.S. Cyber Command, testified to Congress in March that adversaries attack the United States with little fear of retaliation
“What will it take for President Obama to open his eyes? The way you deal with a bully on the playground is to punch them in the face and put them on the ground because the only thing they respect is power,”” said Huckabee.