April 23,2015

Press Contact:

Aaron Fobes, Julia Lawless (202) 224-4515

Finance Committee Advances 21st Century Trade Bill

Bipartisan TPA Legislation Recognizes Today’s Digital Economy

This week, the Senate Finance Committee approved the Trade Priorities and Accountability Act of 2015 (TPA-2015), legislation to renew Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) to help unlock 21st century opportunities for American exports. Importantly, this legislation recognizes economic changes spurred by new technologies and innovation. It sets the stage for America to secure stronger, modernized trade agreements that include provisions to strengthen intellectual property, eliminate barriers to innovation, and facilitate digital trade protections.

As the Information Technology Industry Council (ITI) President and CEO Dean Garfield noted, “Tech's message to Congress is simple: supporting TPA will promote job creation and propel us forward in building a strong 21st century economy.  Contrary to the same, recycled talking points being used to scare people, trade promotion authority is actually about growing the economy and putting more Americans to work. With 95 percent of customers living outside of the U.S., new markets must be opened so that businesses can reach new customers. Start-ups and tech companies are a prime example for the potential for growth. Some tech companies that are now household names didn’t even exist the last time TPA was passed by Congress in 2002.  But the technologies that we take for granted today were the advances developed by our companies that have helped fuel American prosperity through global trade. In fact, all 50 states, and every one of the 435 congressional districts, export technology hardware, software, and services – and all of them would feel the job creating benefits from TPA.”

Here’s a closer look at how this bipartisan trade bill arms the nation with the trade tools needed to navigate a 21st century global economy and keep America at the forefront of  today’s digitized marketplace:

Sets the Stage for a Digital Age

  • Ensures that governments allow cross-border data flows without requiring local storage and processing of data.
  • Recognizes new services and requires trade agreements to address barriers for both existing and new services.
  • Places significance on the Internet as an avenue for international trade and commerce.

Ensures Lawfully Executed Agreements

  • TPA would enhance regulatory practices by providing greater transparency in developing regulatory standards.
  • Encourages the introduction of trade agreements that support good governance, greater transparency, and the rule of law.
  • Includes anti-corruption provisions to secure a level playing field for U.S. exporters.

Protects Intellectual Property

  • Ensures trade agreements reflect the high standard of intellectual property (IP) protection that is found in U.S. law.
  • Calls for the Administration to address violations of IP rights by foreign governments, including piracy and cyber theft of trade secrets.