Friday, June 26, 2015

Just in from Capitol Hill


Congress Approves Trade Promotion Authority

Washington--U.S. agriculture took a big step forward this week with the U.S. Senate’s bipartisan passage of Trade Promotion Authority.

The legislation is vital to Idaho agriculture and every other farm state that depends on the ability to export commodities.

“Congress moving this legislation to the President’s desk sends a strong signal to foreign governments that we mean business at the bargaining table and are ready to complete new agreements that will break down trade barriers and open new markets all over the world,” said Idaho Farm Bureau President Frank Priestley.

Trade Promotion Authority (TPA). TPA is a legislative procedure, written by Congress, through which Congress defines U.S. negotiating objectives and spells out a detailed oversight and consultation process for trade negotiations. Under TPA, Congress retains the authority to review and decide whether any proposed U.S. trade agreement will be implemented. TPA does not provide new power to the Executive Branch

With Trade Promotion Authority, the United States will be able to pursue 21st century trade agreements that support and create U.S. jobs while helping American manufacturers, service providers, farmers and ranchers increase U.S. exports and compete in a highly competitive, globalized economy.

Idaho’s congressional delegation, save one, showed their support for Idaho agriculture voting in favor of the legislation. Agriculture places a high value on TPA because it streamlines the trade negotiating process and keeps the industry competitive in a fast moving world. Idaho Farm Bureau thanks Senators Mike Crapo and Jim Risch, and Congressman Mike Simpson who all voted in favor of the legislation.

Congressman Raul Labrador provided the following statement:

“I cast my vote to preserve the balance of power between the branches of government. I opposed TPA because it largely restricts the ability of members of Congress to ensure that trade agreements negotiated by a president meet objectives set forth by Congress. This bill permits only a select few the ability to withdraw or override fast-track authority. That’s an unacceptable concession.

“I have consistently voted for free trade agreements. However, TPA is a process bill, not a trade bill. I remain a champion of free trade and will continue to work with Idaho business leaders to preserve and expand access to overseas markets.”



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