WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC) is continuing his efforts to oppose a potential tobacco carve out in the Trans-Pacific Partnership, sending a letter yesterday to U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman in which Tillis makes clear that any agricultural carve out would directly threaten the ratification of the trade pact.
In recent days, Tillis has been meeting with his Senate colleagues, including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch, to share his concerns that a tobacco carve out would violate provisions contained in the trade promotional authority Congress granted to the President and would risk opening the door to choosing more “winners and losers” in future trade agreements.
“…In my conversations with other Senators who would otherwise be inclined to support the TPP, I have emphasized the dangerous, precedent setting nature of a carve out and the fact that inclusion of such a term would run counter to the explicit instructions set forth in the TPA,” Senator Tillis wrote to Ambassador Froman. “A number of my colleagues share my view that the TPP can be a net positive in the long run. I am confident, however, that the path toward ratification will be significantly endangered if the administration or one of our trading partners impose their biases by targeting specific industries for exclusion.”
Read Senator Tillis’ letter to Ambassador Froman here.