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The Top 5 Things President Obama Has Said About Free Trade…

…And how they contradict his position on crude oil exports.

On October 5, 2015, President Obama announced an agreement for the Trans-Pacific Partnership, lauding the benefits of free trade and describing the need for a “fair shot to compete around the globe.” Two days later, on October 7th the White House issued a veto threat for legislation (H.R. 702) to allow the free-trade of U.S. oil  and give U.S. companies a fair shot by exporting their product to allies and trading partners around the globe.

The President’s stated position on trade does not align with current U.S. policy on oil exports and completely contradicts the veto threat, in which the White House says that “Legislation to remove crude export restrictions is not needed at this time.” The U.S. is currently the only major oil producing country in the world that does not allow exports of crude oil, even though we are the largest producer. Keeping the ban in place jeopardizes American jobs, creates disadvantages for U.S. companies and threatens our national security by allowing countries like Iran and Russia to control and manipulate the global energy market.

Here are five additional quotes from President Obama and the White House on the benefits of removing trade barriers:

  1. “My approach to trade has been guided by a unifying principle: leveling the playing field for American workers and businesses, so we can export more products stamped Made in America all over the world that support higher-paying American jobs here at home.” (White House Statement, 10/5/15)
  1. “We need to export more of our goods.  Because the more products we make and sell to other countries, the more jobs we support right here in America.  So tonight, we set a new goal:  We will double our exports over the next five years, an increase that will support two million jobs in America.  To help meet this goal, we’re launching a National Export Initiative…” (SOTU, 1/27/10)
  1. “Exporters pay higher wages, and the average industry’s export growth over the past twenty years translated into $1,300 higher annual earnings for the typical employee.” (White House Report, 5/15)
  1. “Trade allows U.S. consumers to buy a wider variety of goods at lower prices, raising real wagesand helping families purchase more with their current incomes.” (White House Report, 5/15)
  1. “For every 1 percent  increase  in  income  as  a  result  of  trade  liberalization,  pollution concentrations fall by 1 percent. This happens because the adoption of clean technologies spread through trade more than offsets emissions resulting from increased transportation or production.” (White House Report, 5/15)

President Obama should take his own advice on the importance of free trade and support lifting the ban on U.S. crude oil exports.


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