May 11, 2015

Jindal: 'I don't trust' Obama with trade deal powers

Gov. Bobby Jindal opposes granting President Obama enhanced powers to negotiate trade deals and in an interview rejected a major trade deal with key U.S. allies in Asia.

The Louisiana Republican and likely candidate for president in 2016 has previously supported free trade deals and fast-track negotiating authority for presidents.

In an interview with the Washington Examiner, Jindal said he hasn't changed position on these issues but that he cannot support the Trade Promotion Authority legislation currently pending in Congress, and the Trans-Pacific Partnership, an expansive trade agreement that could strengthen bonds between the U.S. and allies in Asia, because he does not trust Obama.

"I'm in favor of trade. I've been in favor of giving presidents fast-track authority. I'm not in favor of giving this president fast-track authority," Jindal said. "I don't trust him to use that authority. This is a president that has broken the law."

Of the trade deal itself, Jindal said: "We don't know what's in the deal. Too much of this deal has been negotiated in private — in secret. I think Congress needs to maintain more oversight over this president. There's been a lot of speculation about what could or could not be in there. For example, I want to make sure this is not a back-door way for him to try and impose the kinds of environmental regulations he's trying to do through the [Environmental Protection Agency] around Congress. ... You look at the very one-sided deal he negotiated with China. I worry, is he going to strangle our economy?"

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