David Jolly wrong on TPA

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by
On some issues, bipartisan consensus can be impossible. There are divisions between the Republican and Democratic parties on the state and federal level, and each party has its interest groups and its base to answer to. However, there are some issues where politics must necessarily be transcended, and a grand bargain must be forged. One of those issues is Trade Promotion Authority.
The Florida business community knows this, as does the White House. In a recent opinion piece, Nancy Stephensthe executive director of the Manufacturers Association of Florida, makes some salient points.
She points out that Florida businesses exported more than $58 billion in goods last year alone. International trade, she adds, supports 2,000,000 jobs.

Where would we be in the Sunshine State without those jobs? The old economist estimate was that full employment was at 6 percent. We effectively have full employment; jobs for anyone who wants them.

Stephens also asserts that 317,000 workers are in manufacturing in our state. Almost a third of a million workers right now could stand to be helped by TPA. Free trade creates markets for Florida’s products. It puts food on the tables of Florida families. It also creates ancillary benefits to the non-export economy.

Both Florida senators support TPA. Marco Rubio has been a critic of President Barack Obama on many issues. But when it comes to Florida jobs, Rubio knows that what may seem like a political win for the president is really a political win for everyone.

Our senators get it. But some members of the Republican House delegation from the Sunshine State, including my friend David Jolly, are slow on the uptake when it comes to the TPA

Citing creation of the Affordable Care Act as evidence, said our own Mitch Perry, Jolly says the attitude right now in Washington is simply, “Let’s try to rush this over the goal line before people realize what’s going on.”

“I said to some folks the other day, ‘let’s postpone the TPA vote until the January following the next presidential election.’ I’ll vote for it regardless of who the next president is. If it’s Hillary Clinton, Jeb Bush or Marco Rubio I’d vote for TPA in January of 2017.”

That position makes a lot of assumptions. And it sacrifices strategic advantage.

The TPA passed, 219-211, of course, but David Jolly was on the other side, as he posted to Facebook after his vote.

“Today I voted against Trade Promotion Authority (TPA), or ‘fast-track,’ for two reasons. First, I have genuine and broad disagreement with the President’s view of government and his view of how to grow our economy and create jobs. Thus, I am very concerned about the priorities the President may pursue in a multinational agreement and, respectfully, the impact the President’s decisions would have on American workers and American job creators,” he wrote.

“Second, I believe the process for TPA approval was considered too quickly and did not provide enough time for the American people, for the community I represent, to fully consider the proposal and have a thorough discussion regarding whether we as a country are prepared to enter into a new and historic trading partnership with Pacific nations. The best decisions are made when everyone has an opportunity to understand the issues, consider the impact of significant policy decisions, and engage with their elected officials on what each of us believe is the right direction for the future of the country,” Jolly added.

“While expanded trade will undoubtedly be a part of our American future together, today’s Trade Promotion Authority bill was the wrong decision at the wrong time,” he concluded.

Florida is part of the global economy. An integral part. There will be other trade deals. Hopefully, Jolly will be on the right side then.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.