former Congressman Charles Djou
former Congressman Charles Djou
former Congressman Charles Djou

Charles K. Djou’s campaign released a statement on President Barack Obama’s departure from the Philippines today.

“I commend President Obama on his visit to Asia this week.  Congress needs to follow up on this presidential trip by passing trade promotion authority to conclude a free-trade agreement across Asia and the Pacific,” stated Djou.  “When I was in Congress, I pushed for establishing a free trade pact between the U.S. and the Philippines, and will similarly advocate such a measure if elected again.  Expanding international trade in the Asia-Pacific region is good for American jobs and will directly benefit Hawaii’s visitor industry.”

This past January, during his State of the Union address, President Obama declared passage of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a major free-trade agreement, was the centerpiece of his economic agenda for the administration’s “pivot to the Pacific.”  This trade pact would expand free trade for the U.S. with 12 countries in the Asia-Pacific region including Australia, New Zealand, Japan and Singapore.  Obama’s trade policy, however, has been blocked by Senate Majority Leader Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and House Minority Leader Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) due to hostility from labor unions who oppose the expansion of international trade.

Djou supports both, granting the President “fast track” trade-promotion authority to advance the Trans-Pacific Partnership, as well as establishing a more limited free-trade agreement between the U.S. and the Philippines.  Djou challenges his Democrat opponents to join him in backing the President to advance free-trade in the Asia‑Pacific region that will benefit all Americans.

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