New Trade Promotion Authority Bill Could Jump Start Trade Negotiations
WASHINGTON, DC -- (April 16, 2015) -- Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) legislation was finally introduced in Congress today with a bill from Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-UT), Ranking Member Ron Wyden (D-OR) and House Ways & Means Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) making an appearance following lengthy negotiations between the leaders.
In introducing the bill, Chairman Hatch said, "we must engage with other nations through trade...[t]he renewal of TPA will help American workers and job creators unlock new opportunities for growth...here at home." Hatch has indicated his intention to mark-up the bill, The Bipartisan Congressional Trade Priorities and Accountability Act of 2015 (TPA-2015), late next week.
Many believe TPA is necessary to allow U.S. negotiators to make progress on ongoing trade negotiations, specifically, the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP).
"TPA sends a clear signal to other countries that Congress is serious about letting the President wrap up these deals," said Bob Cummings, USA Rice's chief operating officer. "It puts some pressure on negotiators from other countries who can't now hide behind our Congress as a stalling tactic."
TPA guarantees a solitary "Yea" or "Nay" vote on trade deals. The alternative - 535 Members of Congress tweaking any aspect of the negotiated deals - renders the deals "Dead on Arrival" and provides no incentive for negotiators to conclude their talks.
"We support TPA from a practical matter as it will help negotiators finish their work," continued Cummings. "But the specifics of TPP and TTIP with regard to rice remain to be seen, and it is those details that will ultimately decide how we come down on things."
Photo caption: Chairman Hatch -- on the fast track