April 21,2015

Press Contact:

Aaron Fobes, Julia Lawless (202) 224-4515

Conservatives Back Tool that Restores Congressional Oversight of Trade Deals

Conservative Voices Support Trade Promotion Authority

Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) is not a trade agreement. 

Instead, it is a tool that gives Congress the power to lay out objectives that any Administration – Republican or Democrat – must meet in trade agreements.

Right now, the Administration can negotiate a trade agreement on their own terms without clear direction from Congress.  That would change with TPA.  

By requiring that the House and Senate be fully consulted on pending agreements before any vote and including unprecedented transparency provisions, TPA strengthens Congressional oversight of the Executive branch’s trade negotiations.

Conservatives agree. TPA is good for Congress and the American economy.

Here’s a look at what they’re saying:

NEIL BRADLEY, CONSERVATIVE REFORM NETWORK: “Free trade is a cornerstone of conservative economic policy—growing our economy and raising living standards for Americans—and Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) is both critical to the enactment of free-trade agreements and consistent with the constitutional responsibilities of the President and the Congress.”(CRN Urges Adoption of Bipartisan Congressional Trade Priorities and Accountability Act, 4/21/15)

K. WILLIAM WATSON, CATO INSTITUTE:  The basic function of TPA is to affirm that future trade agreements will receive a timely up-or-down vote in Congress while setting negotiating objectives and procedures for congressional oversight...TPA calls for provisions that limit restrictions on cross-border data flows and that remove special privileges for state-owned enterprisesAside from negotiating objectives, the rest of TPA deals with notification and oversight by Congress.” (What’s Really in the New Trade Promotion Authority Bill?, 4/20/2015)

WALL STREET JOURNAL EDITORIAL BOARD: …the Hatch-Wyden compromise ensures the one thing you won’t see in these agreements is a back-room secret. With the world’s economies hitting stiff headwinds, more free trade is the one big lever available to produce a lift for consumers, job-seekers and entrepreneurs.(A Lift for Free Trade, 4/16/2015)

AMERICANS FOR TAX REFORM:“TPA is extremely important to have if any further progress is going to be made on free trade… ATR is a supporter of TPA and urges all free market conservatives on and off Capitol Hill to be as well.” (Congress Should Enact Trade Promotion Authority, 4/17/2015)

DEREK SCISSORS, AMERICAN ENTERPRISE INSTITUTE:This bill gives equal time to accountability, with much of the text devoted to how the president must consult Congress throughout the negotiation process.  Even better, it requires the administration to inform the public. Negotiating objectives must be made public during the process and the treaty itself must be public for 60 days before the president can sign it.” (Trade Promotion Authority, finally, 4/17/2015)

AMERICAN ACTION FORUM: “Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) is vital to continuing our free trade agenda, provides for smooth negotiations of FTAs Free trade agreements currently on the table, and ensures future economic growth and stability in the U.S. With TPA everyone wins.”  (Solutions: Trade Promotion Authority (TPA), 11/14/14)