INDIANAPOLIS – Congressman Messer has expressed a strong interest in passing free trade deals with China, which would give a known currency manipulator who hosts countless outsourced American manufacturing jobs even more unfettered access to the U.S. market. That push included strong support for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), the massive, pan-Asian free trade deal seen as a potential “back door” to a free trade deal with China.
Congressman Messer has made clear he believes the U.S. ought to strengthen trade ties with China, not crack down on their trade abuses. In 2012, Congressman Messer told the Muncie Star-Press that “the no. 1 problem with China is we do not have a free trade agreement with China.”
Congressman Messer’s support for increased imports from China also extends to the TPP. He voted repeatedly in favor of the deal, including voting to relinquish Congress’ constitutional authority to oversee trade deals to make it easier to grant Asian nations easier access to Chinese goods. That vote came just months before Marujun announced it would lay off 765 Hoosier workersand shift production to Japan, one of the nations involved in TPP negotiations.
While the TPP did nothing to check potential Japanese control of its currency and would have undermined Indiana’s automotive manufacturing industry by making it easier to flood the market with cheap Asian cars, it also was seen as a potential back door to the Chinese trade deal that Congressman Messer claimed was such a high priority.
Because of the TPP’s weak “Rules of Origin” requirements, many goods imported from other nations under the terms of the TPP could actually be made up primarily of Chinese parts. Those rules were even weaker in the automotive sector, further endangering Indiana’s auto industry. “Approval of the TPP would only make it easier for China to expand exports to the U.S., resulting in growing TPP trade deficits and job losses,” the Economic Policy Institute wrote in 2016.
This release is part of Trade Madness, a three-week long series in which the IDP is highlighting Congressmen Messer’s and Rokita’s and Rep. Braun’s mad record of supporting disastrous trade deals and policies that make it easier to ship Hoosier jobs overseas.