Oct 13, 2016 - 3:00pm

John Kasich on Trans-Pacific Partnership: We Cannot 'Abandon this Opportunity'

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Ohio Governor John Kasich at a townhall meeting in Maryland in 2016.
Ohio Governor John Kasich.

With trade a hot-button issue during this presidential campaign, it’s important to step away from the campaign bluster and hear from someone who understands what it means for America's place on the world stage.

Governor John Kasich (R-OH) took to the Washington Post op-ed page to explain that Congress approving the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) will mean continued strong U.S. leadership:

For me, the only common-sense direction is forward, because trade is the foundation of peace. Not only will the TPP promote peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific region, but also it will help maintain the United States’ essential strength in that hemisphere at a time of increased Chinese and Russian assertiveness.

Since World War II, the United States has maintained its global leadership by building alliances that helped us fulfill our most important responsibility — protecting Americans militarily and economically — and then sharing those responsibilities and protections with our allied democracies. “Leader of the Free World” was more than a motto we proudly wore in the Cold War and beyond; it was our pledge to the world’s democracies and repressed peoples alike that the United States would never let them down.

That’s why congressional approval of the TPP agreement is so essential to the United States’ continued leadership across the world, as well as to its security at home.

Don’t be fooled by divisive talk in the presidential campaign that the TPP is only a debate about trade. At its very core, this agreement is about making sure the United States continues to strengthen its essential alliances and is willing to sustain its standing as the global leader — something we have done for more than half a century.

That’s why the TPP agreement enjoys full-throated, bipartisan support from America’s most respected national-security leaders, including former defense secretaries Robert Gates, Leon Panetta and Donald Rumsfeld and former secretaries of state Colin Powell, Madeleine Albright and James Baker.

They echo the stance of former president Ronald Reagan, who had it right when he said, “The freer the flow of world trade, the stronger the tides of human progress and peace among nations.” Reagan knew that when people trade together, it binds them together and promotes peace.

As a governor and former member of Congress who served for 18 years on the House Armed Services Committee, I am convinced that the TPP agreement will strengthen those alliances, helping attain the peace and progress Reagan spoke of and achieved through his own insistence on U.S. leadership and resolve.

We cannot turn our backs on that legacy or abandon this opportunity, because expanding trade is about more than growing our economy; it’s also about ensuring our national security and asserting the United States’ willingness to stand tall against those who wish us ill.

Learn about how TPP will help American families, workers, and businesses with our series, “The Case for the TPP.”

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