Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas (Photo: Twitter)

Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas (Photo: Twitter)

NEW YORK – A history of support for free-trade deals by Ted Cruz and his wife, Heidi, is dogging the senator’s campaign in the important “winner-take-all” Ohio GOP presidential primary, especially since the Cleveland Plain Dealer has just reported that the state lost 112,500 jobs last year because of the U.S. trade deficit with countries in the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement.

A CNN poll on Wednesday showed Donald Trump leading in Ohio, with 41 percent, over John Kasich, at 35 percent. Cruz was in third, with 15 percent.

The Cruz campaign on Thursday told WND that the senator supported Congress giving President Obama “Trade Promotion Authority,” TPA, generally known as “Fast Track.” It would allow the White House to push the Trans-Pacific Partnership, TPP, through Congress in an up or down vote with limited debate and no amendments.

But the campaign said Cruz always has opposed the TPP and supports TPA only because he favors free trade generally.

However, on April 22, 2015, Cruz co-authored with Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wisc, then chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal that endorsed TPP and its sister Trans-Atlantic Partnership.

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In the article, which is archived on Ryan’s congressional website, Ryan and Cruz  open with:

The United States is making headway on two historic trade agreements, one with 11 countries on the Pacific Rim and another with America’s friends in Europe. These two agreements alone would mean greater access to a billion customers for American manufacturers, farmers and ranchers.

The second sentence introduces the concept of TPA, arguing:

But before the U.S. can complete the agreements, Congress needs to strengthen the country’s bargaining position by establishing trade-promotion authority, also known as TPA, which is an arrangement between Congress and the president for negotiating and considering trade agreements. In short, TPA is what U.S. negotiators need to win a fair deal for the American worker.

“By establishing TPA, Congress will send a signal to the world,” Ryan and Cruz stressed in their last paragraph. “America’s trading partners will know that the U.S. is trustworthy and then put their best offers on the table.”

They continued: “America’s rivals will know that the U.S. is serious and won’t abandon the field. And the American people will know this trade agreement is a good, fair deal – because they’ll have the information they need to decide for themselves. … Promoting American trade will create more opportunity in the country, and so we strongly urge our colleagues in Congress to vote for trade-promotion authority.”

In the period February through April 2015, Cruz and Ryan supported Congress voting TPA for the Trans-Pacific Partnership, going so far as to add a TPA provision to HR2146, a bill originally introduced in the House of Representatives to deal with the retirement funds of federal law enforcement officers, with specific reference to TPP (at Sec. 107).

The Cruz campaign said nothing Cruz has ever said indicates support for TPP, discounting both the language added to HR2146 and the Ryan-Cruz op-ed.

“Senator Cruz has only said he is in favor of TPA,” Brian Phillips, a spokesman for the Cruz campaign, told WND in a telephone interview Thursday.

“I know for a fact that Senator Cruz has never said he supports the Trans-Pacific Partnership, because at the time Senator Cruz wrote the op-ed with Representative Ryan, no one was even allowed to read the language of the TPP trade deal,” Phillips said.

Phillips said that after Cruz wrote the op-ed with Ryan, he demanded to read the TPP text. After reading it, the spokesman said, Cruz said in a speech in Iowa on Nov. 20, 2015, that he was “deeply concerned” with TPP, adding that while he supports free trade, he believes the agreement would undermine U.S. immigration laws and the nation’s sovereignty.

“There are a number of Republicans on that (debate) stage who support TPP, who support (Trade Promotion Authority),” Cruz said then, as quoted by the Des Moines Register. “I voted against TPA and I intend to vote against TPP.

“I believe we can negotiate a much better agreement with a strong conservative president than we have with Barack Obama,” Cruz continued.

The record shows that before he read the TPP bill, May 22, 2015, Cruz voted to give President Obama TPA, “Fast Track Authority,” joining the majority as the Senate passed HR 1314 by a vote of 62-37.

Then, in a second vote, after reading the TPP free-trade agreement, Cruz voted on June 24, 2015, for cloture on HR2146, the bill providing retirement funds for federal law enforcement to which TPA authority had been added. Cruz joined four other Republicans to vote against the bill, which passed 60-38, knowing the bill required only a simple majority to pass after cloture had been voted.

In a “Note to Conservatives on Trade Agreements,” June 12, 2015, currently posted on Cruz campaign website, the question is asked, “Does Senator Ted Cruz Support TPP?”

The website states in response:

Senator Cruz has not taken a position either in favor or against TPP. He will wait until the agreement is finalized and he has a chance to study it carefully to ensure that the agreement will open more markets to American-made products, create jobs, and grow our economy. Senator Cruz has dedicated his professional career to defending U.S. sovereignty and the U.S. Constitution. He will not support any trade agreement that would diminish or undermine either. [Bold print in original]

“When this was written, Sen. Cruz had not yet read TPP,” Phillips said. “Now that he has read the agreement, Cruz made clear he did not support TPP and would not vote for TPP. I want to be clear that Sen. Cruz has never supported TPP, not even in this statement.”

Phillips said the distinction between TPA and TPP was critical to understanding Cruz’s position.

“The facts are that Cruz supports TPA because he believes it is required for Congress to pass effectively any trade bill,” Phillips clarified in conclusion. “But we do not want a bunch of insinuations to be published suggesting Sen. Cruz supports TPP. Cruz has never ever said anything to suggest he supports TPP. We want to make sure the facts are straight.”

‘Working groups’

Both Heidi and Ted Cruz previously held positions in the Bush administration that positioned them to play roles in the agenda to expand NAFTA beyond the original trade agreement between Mexico and Canada proposed by President George H. W. Bush and signed by President Bill Clinton in 1993.

After working on George W. Bush’s 2000 presidential campaign in Austin, Texas, Ted Cruz took a position in July 2001 as director of the Office of Policy Planning at the Federal Trade Commission in Washington.

Heidi, who met Ted while also working on economic policy for the Bush-Cheney 2000 presidential campaign, joined the Bush administration in 2003, working in the White House under National Security Director Condoleezza Rice as director for the Western Hemisphere on the National Security Council.

In 2005, after President Bush — in a trilateral summit held in Waco, Texas, with the heads of state of Mexico and Canada — declared the Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America, multiple interagency trilateral “working groups” were set up under the SPP Regulatory Framework Work Plan to “integrate and harmonize” administrative law procedures between the three governments in a wide range of policy areas.

While Ted Cruz’s responsibilities at the FTC were primarily Internet policy, U.S. government memos WND obtained in 2005 under a FOIA request made clear integrating and harmonizing Internet access policies among the three nations was an SPP working group “task force objective” coordinated by the FTC and the office of the U.S. Trade Representative, which necessarily involved Cruz’s area of expertise.

Overall management of U.S. participation in the SPP trilateral working groups was coordinated between the National Security Council and the Department of Homeland Security. Direct-line management responsibilities were assigned to then-Secretary of State Rice, Secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff and Secretary of Commerce Henry Gutierrez, as documented in the 2007 WND Books bestseller “The Late, Great USA: The Coming Merger with Mexico and Canada.”

Enter the Council on Foreign Relations

In May 2005, the CFR Task Force on the Future of North America issued a report titled “Building a North America,” co-authored by the task force vice chairman, Robert A. Pastor, then director of the Center for North American Studies at American University.

On the CFR website, Heidi Cruz is listed as one of 31 members of the Task Force on the Future of North America as “an energy investment banker with Merrill Lynch in Houston, Texas.”

“Heidi served as a term member at CFR,” Rick Tyler, then-Cruz for President national spokesman, confirmed to WND in an email, as WND reported on March 31, 2015. “Her term expired in 2011. She was one of 31 members assigned to the task force that produced the Building a North American Community report.”

The CFR website further specifies that Heidi Cruz served in the George W. Bush White House under Condoleezza Rice as the economic director for the Western Hemisphere at the National Security Council, after serving as the director of the Latin America Office at the U.S. Treasury Department and as special assistant to Ambassador Robert B. Zoellick, U.S. trade representative.

Distancing Heidi from SPP North American Integration

Tyler, in his email to WND, emphasized that Sen. Cruz has never been a member of CFR and harshly criticized the organization during his 2012 U.S. Senate campaign as a threat to U.S. sovereignty, even though his wife was a member at the time.

Tyler noted that at a campaign event in Tyler, Texas, in 2011, Cruz called CFR “a pernicious nest of snakes” that is “working to undermine our sovereignty.”

Tyler explained that Heidi Cruz, then an energy investment banker for Merrill Lynch in Houston, served as a CFR term member.

Her term expired in 2011, Tyler said, and she was one of 31 members assigned to the task force that produced the “Building a North American Community” report.

“Her contribution to the report was narrowly focused on economic issues,” Tyler told WND. “She said as much in her dissenting view included in the report.”

On Feb. 23, a day before the Nevada Republican primary caucuses, Cruz asked for Tyler’s resignation from the campaign after Tyler distributed a video that falsely portrayed Marco Rubio dismissing the Bible.

On pages 33-34 of CFR’s “Building a North American Community,” Heidi Cruz wrote a paragraph included under “Additional and Dissenting Views” that contended economic investment must be led by the private sector rather than government:

I support the Task Force report and its recommendations aimed at building a safer and more prosperous North America. Economic prosperity and a world safe from terrorism and other security threats are no doubt inextricably linked. While governments play an invaluable role in both regards, we must emphasize the imperative that economic investment be led and perpetuated by the private sector. There is no force proven like the market for aligning incentives, sourcing capital, and producing results like financial markets and profit-making businesses. This is simply necessary to sustain a higher living standard for the poorest among us – truly the measure of our success. As such, investment funds and financing mechanisms should be deemed attractive instruments by those committing the capital and should only be developed in conjunction with market participants.

The paragraph did not address the newly formed SPP, which was enthusiastically endorsed in the first two pages of the CFR report.

The CFR report’s introduction went on to say that the task force “is pleased to provide specific advice on how the partnership can be pursued and realized,.” It noted the SPP “established ministerial-level working groups to address key security and economic issues facing North America and setting a short deadline for reporting back to their governments.”

In numerous articles published at the time, WND reported the developing SPP and Pastor’s vision of a “North American Community” comprised of the U.S., Mexico and Canada.

Critics of the plan have pointed out the European Union began as a free-trade agreement, much as the SPP was a further development of NAFTA. In Europe, internationalist thinkers such as Jean Monnet helped develop the 1958 European Coal and Steel Agreement into a predecessor of the European Union, which operates today as a supranational regional government.

Cruz opposes TPP

Ben Smith, in a Politico article titled “A pit of vipers; also, his wife,”  reported that at the Tyler, Texas, Senate campaign event Oct. 15, 2011, Cruz called CFR “a pernicious nest of snakes” that is “working to undermine our sovereignty.”

Politico published a video of the event in which Cruz can be heard drawing applause to his comments attacking CFR.

“I’ve spent a lifetime fighting to defend our sovereignty and I think that’s exactly what we ought to do,” Cruz declared.

In a video interview with independent journalist Derrick Broze in 2011, Cruz responded to “the opponents in this race who have taken to attacking my wife.”

He pointed out she was one among thousands of term members of the CFR for a brief period, joining it “as one of the few conservatives” after stepping down from the Bush administration, “trying to push for conservative outcomes.”

He mentioned former U.N. ambassador John Bolton is a member.

Cruz said the “attack” by his opponents, chiefly then-Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, suggested he would be “less than a full-throated defender of U.S. sovereignty.”

Dewhurst’s objective, Cruz insisted, was to divide conservative and tea party voters.

Cruz said the irony is that he was the only candidate who had stood up against the U.N. and defended U.S. sovereignty.

Get your copy of “Takeover: The 100-Year War for the Soul of the GOP and How Conservatives Can Finally Win It,” and find out what Richard Viguerie believes is a winning formula for conservatives, and the U.S., at a special price right now!


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