COLUMBUS, Ohio, June 10, 2015- In advance of an expected Friday vote on Trade Promotion Authority (TPA), Ohio farm organizations are investing in a radio campaign to get at least one conservative, Rep. Jim Jordan, to vote "yes."
A radio ad airing in his district Thursday and Friday says Jordan is “playing petty politics on this crucial issue” and urges farmers to tell him “to support good trade policy.”
Listen to the ad by clicking here.
Jordan last month told reporters he was leaning against the bill because it tied together TPA with a renewal of Trade Adjustment Assistance programs, a priority for Democrats. He has also told farm groups that he wants to see other regulatory issues repealed before voting on TPA.
The ad is sponsored by the Ohio Soybean Association, Ohio Corn and Wheat Growers Association, Ohio Cattlemen's Association and the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation.
Ohio's 4th District, which the Republican Jordan has represented since 2007, is the second-largest agricultural district in the state.
"We need votes to count on issues important to Ohio agriculture and this is definitely one of them," says Adam Ward, executive director of the Ohio Soybean Association.
Ward said the groups became particularly concerned after Jordan was quoted in a recent article in the Cincinnati Enquirer as saying Republicans had to deal with other priorities before trade.
“Frankly I don't recall us telling the voters last November that Trade Promotion Authority was an important issue," Jordan said. "I do remember us telling them that we were going to deal with the president's unconstitutional executive amnesty," along with repealing Obamacare and restricting abortion, Jordan said, according to the newspaper.
This is the first time the farm groups have publicly come together using campaign style tactics to ask a lawmaker to change course, but Ward says it probably won't be the last.
"Unless we start speaking with a louder voice, we won't get support for our issues," he added.
TPA would give the president authority to complete a trade agreement upon which Congress could only give an up-or-down vote, with no amendments. Supporters say it would help President Obama conclude ambitious trade agreements like the Trans-Pacific Partnership and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership.
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