April 23,2015

Press Contact:

Aaron Fobes, Julia Lawless (202) 224-4515

TPA Drives High-Quality Trade Agreements, Not Immigration Law

The Administration Has No Authority Under TPA or Any Pending Trade Agreement to Unilaterally Change U.S. Immigration Laws

FACT: Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) has nothing to do with U.S. immigration law and everything to do with equipping Congress to lead on trade:

TPA is a trade tool that will establish strict congressional objectives to help America successfully secure strong international trade agreements, period. 

In fact, TPA strengthens congressional oversight of the Executive Branch’s trade negotiations by requiring that Congress be fully consulted on pending agreements before any vote and includes unprecedented transparency provisions.

What’s more, TPA includes safeguards to prevent any administration – Republican or Democrat – from misleading Congress on what is included in a trade agreement:

  • Confirms Congressional Authority:Makes clear that the Administration cannot unilaterally change U.S. law.
  • Improves Accountability: Requires an administration to consult closely with Congress before, during, and after the negotiations. Any commitments that are not disclosed to the Congress before an implementing bill is introduced are not to be considered part of the agreement approved by Congress and have no force of law.
  • Increases Transparency: Establishes, for the first time in law, that the text of a completed trade agreement must be public for at least 60 days before the President signs it.

FACT: The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) has nothing to do with U.S. immigration law and everything to do with opening foreign markets for American exports:

Right now, TPP is being negotiated between the United States and 11 other countries, including some of the world’s largest economies like Japan.  If the agreement successfully meets America’s objectives and is approved by the Congress, it will tear down barriers for American exports and yield significant economic benefits for American workers, farmers, ranchers and job creators.

The Administration has assured the Finance Committee that the trade agreement will not serve as a vehicle to advance the President’s immigration agenda.

In a letter to Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) and Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), U.S. Trade Rep. Michael Froman made clear that, “…the United States is not negotiating and will not agree to anything in TPP that would require any modification to U.S. immigration law or policy or any changes to the U.S. visa system.”

While other TPP countries are discussing temporary entry commitments of people in the negotiations, the United States is not involved.

U.S. Trade Rep. Michael Froman confirmed: “…other TPP Parties are negotiating temporary entry commitments with one another, but the U.S. is not.  We will not be making offers or agreeing to anything in that area. No provision in TPP will require changes to U.S. immigration law, regulations, policy, or practice because our system is already operating in a manner that is consistent with the provisions in the temporary entry chapter.”