Heidi Cruz misstated her husband's vote on a key and controversial trade provision last year in a radio interview this week.
The issue of trade has become a hot one for both parties this cycle. Donald Trump's made the case that the United States is getting screwed on free trade — that U.S. policies have ruined the wages for the American worker.
In a radio interview on South Carolina's Vince Coakley Radio Program, Heidi Cruz argued free trade is a powerfully good force and that presidents should have increased powers to negotiate trade deals — a policy that has become particularly controversial over the last year as President Obama has pushed for what's called trade-promotion authority (TPA) to negotiate a U.S.-Asian Pacific trade agreement.
And then she said Ted Cruz voted for TPA. Sen. Cruz, while initially voting for TPA in May of 2015, was one of only five Republicans to vote against it when it came up for another vote in the Senate later that June. At the time, Cruz explained that his reversal was a result of his opposition to the Export-Import Bank and new immigration provisions introduced by the House.
A Cruz spokesman told BuzzFeed News: "Cruz supports free trade but voted against TPA because he did not want President Obama to have the authority to unilaterally make bad trade deals."
Here's Heidi Cruz's case for free trade:
"Well Ted is a free trader, he's always been a free trader, and that is why he voted for the Trade Promotion Authority in Congress. That being said, what is—and the reason he is for free trade is because it creates American jobs. We've done a study on the campaign as to how many jobs free trade has created for various states in the country, and the numbers are in the hundreds of thousands depending on the size of the state. And so I'd encourage your listeners to look at those types of statistics. Free trade creates jobs for Americans. Ted has integrated into his tax plan a tax break for exports so that companies that producing for export will not be taxed in the U.S. which gives them any advantage in selling abroad.
"The second thing, though, and equally important, they must go part and parcel, is that we must be negotiating the right free trade agreements that are good for America and not bad for America. And this president has not proven that he's able to do so, and so Ted voted against the TPP, the deal with Asia. And the reason he voted against it is, he actually goes and reads the bills that he votes on and the agreements that are negotiated. Ted went down into the SCIF, he read through the pages of this agreement. He made the observation that this was not a good agreement for America. This president is not negotiating good deals for our country, there are immigration things in there. There are things that don't belong in there, and he voted against that agreement.
"Let me remind you listeners that the trade promotion authority for the bill that gives Congress the right to give to executive branch the ability to negotiate trade on the behalf of the country. This is a six year lasting situation, so in the Constitution the authority for trade is given to the Congress, but because of all the different interests, it was deemed a long time ago that the executive should argue on behalf of the American people, but that Congress should approve or disapprove. And this lasts for six years, and so if we deny the ability for our executive to negotiate trade agreements on our behalf, and then be reviewed by Congress —which should be a very assiduous process — we will be also denying the next president because this president only has just about eight months left in office."
Andrew Kaczynski is a political reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.
Contact Andrew Kaczynski at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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