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Trade Promotion Authority What It Means

April 16, 2015

Trade Agreements Are Good For American Workers, Job Creators, and Our National Security

  • One in five American jobs is tied to trade. Thats 38 million jobs in total. And jobs that are tied to trade pay, on average, 18 percent more.
  • If we want to grow our economy, we need to sell more American-made goods and services abroad.
  • More than 95 percent of the worlds customers live beyond our borders, and good trade agreements allow us break down barriers to American exports.
  • Good trade agreements make sure that American workers and job creators can compete on a level playing field.
  • Good trade agreements allow the United States to write the rules of the global economy. If we dont, nations like China will.
  • Good trade agreements bolster our national security by fostering economic cooperation and strengthening our ties with other nations.


Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) Empowers Congress and Holds the Administration Accountable

  • A president already has the constitutional authority to negotiate a trade agreement with other nations. TPA inserts Congress into that process from the outset.
  • TPA allows Congress to set U.S. trade priorities through a set of clear negotiating objectives, and requires the administration to follow them.
  • The nearly 150 objectives include things like protections for intellectual property rights, rules for agricultural trade, labor standards, and measures to combat currency manipulation.
  • TPA demands the administration to engage in robust consultation with Congress, and allows members to be part of the negotiating process.
  • TPA includes stringent transparency requirements that allow Congress and the American people to understand what an agreement would be mean before a vote.
  • If the administration follows the negotiating objectives and satisfies its consultation and transparency obligations, a trade agreement is allowed an up-or-down vote in Congress. But
  • If an administration falls short, Congress can withdraw TPA procedures, and this TPA bill includes a new, additional mechanism to hold the administration accountable.
  • This means Congress has the final say on any trade deal, and if the administration doesnt do its part, TPA can be turned off and the trade agreement can be stopped.


We Need TPA To Get Good Trade Agreements

  • TPA creates a united front between Congress and an administration that allows our negotiators to get the best deals possible.
  • Our negotiating partners will only make concessions to lower barriers to trade and set high standards if they know Congress will not re-write an agreement later.
  • If the administration works with Congress and follows its negotiating objectives, we can achieve good trade agreements that help American workers and job creators.