The approval of Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) legislation Thursday in the U.S. House of Representatives represents a positive step for American workers, says Devry Boughner Vorwerk, vice president of corporate affairs, Cargill.
“The house officially passed TPA with a very solid margin,” Vorwerk says. “We are pleased with the outcome, and we congratulate the House on exhibiting leadership on American competitiveness.”
If approved in the U.S. Senate, the legislation would authorize the president to expedite trade deals by sending them to Congress for a simple up-or-down vote. A “positive” new provision in Thursday’s package requires a 60-day public viewing of TPA before it is signed by the president, Vorwerk adds.
The Senate also must review legislation containing Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA), which helps finance training for workers who lose their jobs to trade pacts.
“Cargill has always been a big supporter of TAA, the key word there being ‘adjustment,’” Vorwerk notes. “As the economy is able to move ahead and benefit from trade agreements, there’s always a need to maintain opportunities to retrain and enhance our workers’ competitiveness to keep up with the global marketplace. We’re hopeful that trade adjustment also gets a very positive showing.”
Others in the agriculture community voiced their approval for continued progress on the trade legislation.
“TPA has always been step one as we look to forge strong agreements that help to make American agriculture—and soybean farmers in particular—so competitive in international markets,” says Wade Cowan, a soybean producer from Brownfield, Texas, and president of the American Soybean Association. “With TPA in hand, we now turn our attention to finalizing an agreement in the Trans-Pacific Partnership that includes vital export markets for U.S. soybeans and meat products, as well as the developing markets that grow in their demand for American soy every day.”
The Senate is expected to begin review of the fast-track legislation next week, Politico reports.