Opening markets, unlocking opportunity: Senator Jeff Flake on trade promotion in Congress
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Event Summary


What is the proper role for Congress to play in expanding US trade opportunities and increasing market access for US businesses? At an AEI event Wednesday morning, Senator Jeff Flake (R-AZ) stressed that "it should not be the federal government's role to create jobs, but instead to provide the private sector the tools and opportunities it needs for job creation." Noting that opposition to trade promotion authority (TPA) exists among both Democrats and some Republicans, Senator Flake pointed to historical debates and the success of previous free-trade agreements in advocating for reauthorization of this authority.

Senator Flake explained that as the Obama administration negotiates both the Trans-Pacific Partnership and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, it is clear that securing TPA quickly will be necessary to execute this ambitious trade agenda. The senator concluded by urging his colleagues to facilitate this process, emphasizing that it is up to those who understand the benefits of free trade to take advantage of the window of opportunity while it lasts.
--John VeryWey

Event Description

As the Obama administration engages in the most ambitious trade agenda the US has seen since the early 1990s, there are growing questions about the administration’s commitment to and the feasibility of various agreements. In recent weeks, politicians on both sides of the aisle have publicly opposed trade promotion authority and yet another deadline for the Trans-Pacific Partnership has passed. Please join us to hear Senator Jeff Flake (R-AZ), a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, as he addresses the role Congress should play in expanding trade opportunities and increasing market access for US businesses.

If you are unable to attend, we welcome you to watch this event live on this page. Full video will be posted within 24 hours.


10:45 AM
Registration and Breakfast

11:00 AM
Arthur C. Brooks, AEI

Jeff Flake, US Senate (R-AZ)

11:30 AM
Question-and-Answer Session

11:45 PM

Event Contact Information

For more information, please contact John VerWey at, 202.862.5839.

Media Contact Information

For media inquiries, please contact, 202.862.5829.

Speaker Biographies

Arthur C. Brooks is the president of AEI. Until January 1, 2009, he was the Louis A. Bantle Professor of Business and Government Policy at Syracuse University. He is the author of 10 books and many articles on topics ranging from the economics of the arts to applied mathematics. His most recent books include “The Road to Freedom: How to Win the Fight for Free Enterprise” (Basic Books, 2012), “The Battle: How the Fight between Free Enterprise and Big Government Will Shape America's Future” (Basic Books, May 2010), “Gross National Happiness” (Basic Books, 2008), “Social Entrepreneurship” (Prentice-Hall, 2008), and “Who Really Cares” (Basic Books, 2006). Before pursuing his work in public policy, Brooks spent 12 years as a professional French hornist with the City Orchestra of Barcelona and other ensembles.

Jeff Flake
has represented Arizona in the US Senate since January 2013. Before his election, he served in the US House of Representatives from 2001 to 2013. While serving in the House, he emerged as a leading opponent of pork-barrel spending and a vocal advocate for fiscal restraint and progrowth policies. A longtime proponent of international trade and economic opportunity, he saw the power of these policies firsthand while serving as executive director of the Foundation for Democracy in Namibia earlier in his career. His committee assignments currently include Foreign Relations, Energy and Natural Resources, Judiciary, and the Special Committee on Aging.

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AEI Participants


Arthur C.
  • Arthur C. Brooks is president of the American Enterprise Institute (AEI). He is also the Beth and Ravenel Curry Scholar in Free Enterprise at AEI.

    Immediately before joining AEI, Brooks was the Louis A. Bantle Professor of Business and Government at Syracuse University, where he taught economics and social entrepreneurship.

    Brooks is the author of 10 books and hundreds of articles on topics including the role of government, fairness, economic opportunity, happiness, and the morality of free enterprise. His latest book, “The Road to Freedom: How to Win the Fight for Free Enterprise” (2012) was a New York Times bestseller. Among his earlier books are “Gross National Happiness” (2008), “Social Entrepreneurship” (2008), and “Who Really Cares” (2006). Before pursuing his work in public policy, Brooks spent 12 years as a classical musician in the United States and Spain.

    Brooks is a frequent guest on national television and radio talk shows and has been published widely in publications including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and The Washington Post.

    Brooks has a Ph.D. and an M.Phil. in policy analysis from RAND Graduate School. He also holds an M.A. in economics from Florida Atlantic University and a B.A. in economics from Thomas Edison State College.

    Follow Arthur Brooks on Twitter.

  • Assistant Info

    Name: Danielle Duncan
    Phone: 202.419.5213
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