Manufacturers and retailers told congress they support the Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) legislation introduced on January 9th by Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (MT), Ranking Member Orrin Hatch (UT) and by House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp (MI). The Bipartisan Congressional Trade Priorities Act would renew TPA for up to seven years, helping the U.S. accelerate and implement comprehensive trade negotiations with other countries. TPA was last renewed in 2002 and expired in 2007.
“Senators Baucus and Hatch and Rep. Camp have worked across the aisle and demonstrated strong leadership on a critical manufacturing priority,” said National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) Vice Chair of International Economic Policy David Hoover of Ball Corporation. “Manufacturers need TPA to open new overseas markets and secure better access to the 95 percent of the world’s consumers who live outside our borders. Countries with which the United States has negotiated trade agreements under TPA bought nearly half of all U.S.-manufactured goods exports last year, supporting millions of jobs across the country.”
In a separate announcement, the National Retail Federation called on Congress to quickly approve the bill, calling it critically important for the United States to conclude ongoing trade negotiations with Asia and Europe, including the Trans-Pacific Partnership and Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership.
“In order to sustain our economic recovery, spur further growth, and create opportunity through investment and job creation domestically, the country needs to renew its commitment to free markets and free enterprise internationally,” NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said. “The trade agreements that will follow this legislation will strengthen our recovery and provide the framework for future economic and employment growth.”
The bill would renew the president’s authority to submit trade agreements to Congress for a straight up-or-down vote without amendments. It would let Congress establish negotiating objectives for trade agreements, enhance consultation between the executive and legislative branches, and establish procedures on how a trade agreement is submitted to Congress.