Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., the newly-unveiled running mate to Mitt Romney, explained in a wide-ranging interview with The Washington Examiner earlier this year how his foreign policy experiences as a congressman have prepared him to serve as Vice President.
“I go there,” Ryan said matter-of-factly when asked how he keeps up on events in Syria and Mexico, for instance.”That’s probably where most of my travels have gone. I was in Afghanistan last December; I’ve been there a few times.”
Ryan also summarized his experience working on legislation that pertained to Middle Eastern issues over the last 14 years in Congress:
I formed the Middle East Caucus in early 2000s. On Ways and Means, which is a trade committee, I was point guy on the MEFTA. This is an arcane idea. We used to like doing trade agreements. And the MEFTA is the Middle East Free Trade Area Initiative, which is to create, we believe – and this was a good idea back in the Bush Administration. Get free trade agreements with these moderate Muslim countries, to integrate our economies. You have to require rule of law, women’s rights, you know, enforceable contracts. Yeah, but it’s been languishing, so I worked on the Moroccan Agreement, the Jordanian Agreement, the Omani Agreement, the Bahraini Agreement. I negotiated all the implementing legislation on that with the Democrats.