A top Republican is calling on fellow lawmakers to unite around trade legislation that would help break down barriers for American companies doing business abroad.
 
In the weekly Republican address, House Ways and Means Chairman Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanDemocrats hit Scalia over LGBTQ rights Three-way clash set to dominate Democratic debate Krystal Ball touts Sanders odds in Texas MORE (R-Wis.) said that following through with trade agreements in Europe at the Pacific would create jobs and grow the economy.
 
“You see, 96 percent of the world’s consumers — they don’t live in the United States; they live in other countries,” Ryan said. “We have to make more things in America and sell them overseas.”
 
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Ways and Means passed legislation this week that would give President Obama more authority to negotiate trade deals with other countries.
 
The bill is expected to go before the full House for a vote in the coming weeks.
 
“We let other countries sell their products here,” Ryan said. “But they’ve put up trade barriers that make it hard to sell our products over there.”
 
Known as “trade promotion authority,” the legislation authorizes the president to negotiate trade deals on behalf of Congress. Lawmakers then vote on whether to accept the trade deal, but they cannot make changes to the legislation.
 
Ryan, the 2012 Republican vice presidential candidate, said this “puts Congress in the driver’s seat” because they can reject trade agreements they disapprove of.
 
Under the trade promotion legislation, members of Congress would have the opportunity to read through the negotiating offer at any time and attend negotiating rounds.  
 
“Congress gets the final say,” Ryan said. “If you meet all of these requirements, we will give the agreement an up-or-down vote."