TPA Passes Senate; Debate Moves to House of Representatives
With the May 22 passage of Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) legislation by the U.S. Senate, the trade policy focus shifted to the U.S. House of Representatives. At the time of print, no schedule had been announced for House action on TPA, though vigorous debate and ultimately a close vote are expected.
“The Senate’s action is important progress but there is more work to do,” says Ron Gray, U.S. Grains Council chairman. “TPA is an essential tool for achieving progress on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and other trade agreements that can give U.S. farmers additional market access.”
The TPP countries, which include the United States, Japan, Canada and Mexico, account for about 40 percent of world exports. An ongoing trade negotiation between the United States and European Union could also benefit from TPA, opening that market to new sales. TPA legislation is intended to set Congressional priorities for negotiators and provide for regular consultation between negotiators and Congress. It would also establish a time-bound approval process in which Congress would vote up-or-down on a proposed agreement as a comprehensive package, without amendment.