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Making Trade Negotiations More Transparent and Accountable

April 16, 2015

Trade Promotion Authorityor TPAis a partnership between Congress and the administration that ensures the United States secures the most effective trade agreements possible. TPA also brings greater transparency to the negotiating process by empowering Congress to conduct vigorous oversight and hold the administration accountable.


TPA guarantees Congress a meaningful role in all trade negotiations. Under TPA, every member of Congress will be able to:

  • Read Negotiating Text: Allows every member of Congress to read the negotiating text.

  • Receive Detailed Briefings: Requires the U.S. Trade Representatives office to brief any interested member on the status of negotiations at any time.

  • Attend Negotiating Rounds: Allows any member to become a congressional adviser and as a result eligible to attend negotiating rounds.

  • Provide Guidance: Creates House and Senate Advisory Groups to oversee negotiations and receive regular briefings. Any member can submit views.

  • Coordinate with Public and Advisory Committees: Lays down guidelines on public engagement and sharing information with advisory committees.

  • Receive adequate time to review deal: Requires the President to publish the text of a completed trade agreement 60 days before signing it.

  • Consult with a New Transparency Officer: Creates a chief transparency officer at USTR that will consult with Congress and advise USTR on transparency policies


TPA ensures Congress maintains control over changes to U.S. law and provides rules for considering trade agreements.

  • Sets Negotiating Objectives: Sets Congressional priorities for trade agreements.

  • Guarantees Long-Term Oversight: Extends trade promotion authority for six years.

  • Protects U.S. Sovereignty: Affirms that Congressand only Congresscan change U.S. law.

  • Narrows Scope of Implementation Bills: Stipulates that all implementing legislation include only provisions necessary or appropriate to enacting trade deals.

  • Extends Oversight to Current Negotiations: Applies TPA requirements to ongoing negotiations, including oversight and consultation requirements.

  • Strengthens Oversight: Applies expedited procedures only to agreements finished in a specific timeframe and tightens entry-into-force procedures.

  • Provides an Off Switch: TPA sets up mechanisms for Congress to turn off the expedited procedures if the administration fails to meet its TPA obligations.