Senate Finance Committee Advances TPA Bill- House Ways and Means Considers TodayThu, 23 Apr 2015 05:58:16 CDT
The Senate Finance Committee approved Senate Bill 995 on Wednesday evening by a 20 to 6 vote. Senate Bill 995 would give President Barack Obama "fast track" or Trade Promotion Authority to negotiate a trade deal with other countries- and then bring that proposal back to Congress for a straight up or down vote. The House Ways and Means Committee is scheduled to debate its companion bill on Thursday morning.
The Obama administration says passage of the TPA bill is critical to getting Japan and Canada to make concessions on their agricultural import barriers and other issues in the 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations. The TPA process would be in effect for six years unless Congress takes action to end it.
The bill sets negotiating guidelines and disclosure requirements for trade deals and bars Congress from amending a trade agreement that has been submitted for approval.
After the vote, a couple of Ag Groups quickly offered praise to the Committee for moving forward. The President of the National Cattlemen's Beef Association, Phillip Ellis of Wyoming offered the following statement about this progress on TPA: ""We were very happy to see the Committee pass a TPA bill, without amendments that would hinder progress on future free trade agreements. Trade Promotion Authority gives our negotiators and trading partners a clear signal to negotiate the best deal for our products, knowing it will receive an up or down vote in Congress. Current and future free trade agreements give us the ability to take our beef, the best protein in the world, to the 96 percent of the world's population that lives beyond our borders. Trade and greater access to markets around the world mean the future to my ranch, my kids and my grandkids; and I urge Congress to pass this legislation without delay."
Also weighing in was the National Association of Corn Growers. NCGA President and Maryland Corn Farmer Chip Bowling calls this the right direction for Congress to be taking. "On behalf of America's corn farmers, our customers, and the one million Americans whose jobs depend on agricultural trade, I want to thank the Senate Finance Committee members who voted to advance Trade Promotion Authority out of committee. We now call on members of the House Ways & Means Committee to pass a clean TPA bill out of committee, and for both the House and Senate to bring this important legislation to a floor vote as soon as possible.
"American family farmers depend on trade. Congress, we are now depending on you to pass Trade Promotion Authority. Let's remove trade barriers, expand our access to global markets, and ensure farmers get the best possible trade agreements."
On Wednesday, Farm Director Ron Hays talked with Roy Lee Lindsey about several issues important to the Oklahoma pork industry- including trade. Lindsey says that TPA is needed immediately because of the nearly complete Pacific trade deal and how much it could impact all of agriculture- not just the Pork Industry.
You can hear Ron's conversation with Lindsey about TPP and TPA by clicking on the LISTEN BAR below.
Several Ag Groups have prepared bullet points about the importance of trade for their segment of agriculture- click on the Name of the Group below to see their pitch on the importance of trade to US farmers and ranchers.
National Cattlemen's Beef Association
National Pork Producers Council
American Farm Bureau on TPP
American Farm Bureau on TPA
National Association of Wheat Growers
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