President signs Trade Promotion Authority bill
Washington—President Obama’s signature on Trade Promotion Authority legislation opens the door to creating new trade partnerships around the world that will drive American business forward in the international marketplace, according to American Farm Bureau Federation President Bob Stallman.
“The American economy stands stronger when we work together—and that’s just what Trade Promotion Authority enables us to do at the bargaining table. U.S. agriculture is ready for ambitious trade agreements that break down barriers to products grown and made in America, so our trading partners know we mean business,” Stallman said in a statement.
For the past 40 years, TPA and its precedent versions have provided U.S. negotiators the ability to reach agreement with other nations on trade matters that are not open to change by Congress, yet TPA has protected Congress’ constitutional role to set trade objectives and preserved lawmakers’ final “yea” or “nay” on the agreement.
In 2014, U.S. farmers and ranchers exported more than $152 billion in food, fiber, feed and energy commodities and products to customers around the world, providing the country with a positive net trade of $43 billion over imports. Agriculture’s 2015 export forecast isn’t as sunny, with a projected $9 billion drop. While some of this decrease stems from lower commodity prices for certain crops, ongoing challenges U.S. negotiators face in reaching multilateral agreements and resolving trade conflicts are also a factor.
“Without the ability to finish negotiations and present those agreements to Congress for an up or down ratification vote, we are ceding potential market development and expansion to our competitors and yielding global economic leadership to other nations,” Stallman said in a letter to lawmakers urging them to pass the bill.