From: John Stanton [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Wednesday, February 24, 2016 5:14 PM
To: Velz, Peter T. EOP/WHO ; Barnes, Desiree N. EOP/WHO
Subject: in town pool report 5
Your pool was ushered into the Oval Office at 3:39 for the first of two afternoon bill signings. The first bill POTUS signed was H.R. 1428, the Judicial Redress Act of 2015. Attendees at the signing were as follows: Senator Orrin Hatch, R-UT, President Pro Tempore Hatch
Sens. Patrick Leahy, D-VT, Chris Murphy, D-CT, Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner, R-WI, David O’Sullivan, Ambassador of the European Union to the United States of America, Mike Froman, United States Trade Ambassador and Edith Ramirez, Federal Trade Commission Chairwoman.
Obama called the bill, which protects citizens data, a key measure for protecting consumer data that will help bring businesses to the United States. “It is bipartisan, I want to thank members in both the House and Senate who worked so hard on it. I think this is one more step in what is this evolving process as we get deep into the information age to make sure that even as we protect the American people’s security we’re also mindful of the privacy we cherish so much.”
Obama noted the signing was Sen. Murphy’s first, and quipped "he can watch how I’ve mastered the use of seven pens.”
The pool was then herded back outside as staff pulled the ole switcharoo for the second bill signing. The second bill signing, H.R. 644, the Trade Facilitation and Enforcement Act of 2015, was attended by Sen. Hatch, as well as Sen. Michael Bennet, D-CO., Reps. Earl Blumenauer, D-OR, Eddie Bernice Johnson, D-TX, Ron Kind, D-WI, and Dave Reichert, R-WA. Gil Kerlikowske, Commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection, and Mike Froman, United States Trade Ambassador also attended.
Obama touted the measure as part of the administration’s efforts to enforce trade rules on the international level. “Once we’ve set up trade rules, people have to abide by them. We can’t have other countries cheating, we can’t have other countries engaged in practices that disadvantage American workers and American businesses. One of the things I’m very proud of is that we’ve ramped up our enforcement of trade laws to protect American workers ands American businesses like never before, in areas like steel for example, we’ve brought more cases that we had in the previous decade, we’ve brought more cases to the World Trade Organization … In fact we just won a case against India this week. So it is timely then that we are signing this bipartisan customs bill.”
Obama singled out Sen. Bennet for his contribution to the bill’s currency provisions, which Obama said will help protect against “currency devaluations that are designed to undercut U.S. goods, U.S. exports, and our balance of trade.”
“Overall, this is an example of smart trade policy in the 21st century. We are not going to be able to close our borders. The global supply chain is deeply embedded in everything we do, and our exports produce jobs for Americans in every state … so we want to trade,” Obama added.
DC Bureau Chief