ASA Looks Ahead as TPA Bill Emerges From House, Senate CommitteesFri, 24 Apr 2015 11:31:09 CDT
Following the passage of a bill by the House Ways and Means Committee and the Senate Finance Committee that would grant trade promotion authority to President Barack Obama, the American Soybean Association (ASA) is calling on both chambers to pass the bill and give the administration what it needs to forge ahead with key trade agreements around the globe.
"Agreements like the Trans-Pacific Partnership and others that expand market access are of vast importance to American soybean farmers as we look to maintain our position at the vanguard of the world's agricultural trade, however we can't conclude agreements without trade promotion authority. That's always been step one," said Wade Cowan, ASA president and a soybean farmer from Brownfield, Texas.
The Bipartisan Congressional Trade Priorities and Accountability Act was introduced last week by Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) and Ranking Member Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), as well as House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.). The measure passed the Senate committee late Wednesday, and the House committee late Thursday, and will head to the floors of both chambers potentially as early as next month, per indications from House and Senate leadership.
"This bill is something that both sides of the aisle have come together on," added Cowan. "It's a bipartisan bill that hears the concerns of Right and Left, of multiple industries and of multiple constituencies, including our nation's soybean farmers. It gives USTR the bandwidth it needs to get the best deal possible for American farmers and businesses, and it provides Congress the involvement and oversight it needs to ensure each deal works for everyone. It is a piece of legislation that both the Senate and the House should take up and pass as quickly as possible."
Trade promotion authority is among the top policy priorities for ASA in the 114th Congress. Soybean farmers, who exported over half their crop with an export value of $30.5 billion in 2014, are the largest agricultural exporters in the U.S.
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