April 17,2015

Press Contact:

Aaron Fobes, Julia Lawless (202) 224-4515

Obama Administration Backs Trade Promotion Authority

Top Government Officials Agree Bipartisan Trade Tool has Provided Certainty and Helped America Secure Strong Trade Deals for Decades

Sought by every President since FDR, Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) guarantees an up-or-down vote on trade agreements in Congress and assures international trading partners the deal they sign is the deal Congress will consider, allowing them to put their best offers on the table.

This week, Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), Ranking Member Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and House Ways and Means Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) introduced  the The Bipartisan Congressional Trade Priorities and Accountability Act of 2015 , to renew this critical trade tool and help bring home high-standard trade agreements that will boost American exports and create new economic opportunities and better jobs for American workers, manufacturers, farmers, ranchers and entrepreneurs.

When it comes to TPA, the Obama Administration agrees.

Here’s a look at what they’re saying:

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA:I am pleased that Chairman Hatch, Senator Wyden, and Chairman Ryan have introduced bipartisan legislation to help us negotiate trade agreements that are good for our economy, our businesses, and most importantly for our workers... I look forward to working with Democrats and Republicans in Congress to pass this bill…”  (Statement by the President on the Bipartisan Congressional Trade Priorities and Accountability Act of 2015, 4/16/15)  

TREASURY SEC. JACK LEW: Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) is critical to helping secure the substantial economic gains that our ambitious trade and investment agreements can bring, including labor and environmental standards, consumer protections, and benefits for small and medium-sized businesses…TPA sends a strong signal to our trading partners that Congress and the Administration speak with one voice to the rest of the world on our priorities.” (Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew Testimony for Senate Finance Committee Hearing on TPA, 4/16/15)

Agriculture Sec. Tom Vilsack: “The Administration fully supports passage of bipartisan TPA legislation. Securing TPA is a top USDA priority…TPA is a linchpin in finalizing trade agreements that strengthen the U.S. economy through expanding exports, which are critically important to the U.S. agricultural sector.” (Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack Testimony for Senate Finance Committee Hearing on TPA, 4/16/15)

AMBASSADOR MICHAEL FROMAN: “A critical tool for unlocking the benefits of trade is Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) legislation…Under the modern form of TPA, Congress establishes legislative procedures for the consideration and approval of trade agreements, including setting out what objectives should be negotiated and how the Administration will consult with it before and during negotiations.” (U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman, Executive Office of the President Testimony for Senate Finance Committee Hearing on TPA, 4/16/15)