The Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) got sidelined by debate and posturing in Congress, but as of June 29, it’s settled. President Obama signed the TPA and the Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) into law.
“The authority Congress is granting to President Obama today is an upgrade — not only does it give him the leverage he needs to close out negotiations on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) with 11 countries in the fast-growing Asia-Pacific region, but it ensures that the TPP will include the strongest protections in history for our workers and our environment,” writes White House senior advisor Greg Nelson.
Nelson notes that the TPP includes:
- The strongest labor protections in history that include a minimum wage, ban on forced labor and worker safety protections.
- Environmental protections that protect the oceans, and combat illegal wildlife trafficking and logging.
- Open up the fastest-growing markets to Made-In-America goods and services.
- Making the TPP a matter of public record for the first time ever.
The TAA was set to expire September 30, 2015, and Nelson says the extension is a “critically important lifeline that has helped 2.2 million American workers, including more than 23,000 veterans, find a new, often better-paying job.”
Patrick Delaney, policy communications director at the American Soybean Association, says the TPA will benefit soybean farmers and others in the agriculture industry.
“TPA is critical for soybean farmers because new trade agreements expand market access as we look to maintain our position at the vanguard of world agricultural trade,” he says. “In addition, new trade agreements will expand livestock product exports, which are also important for U.S. soybean farmers.”
Opponents of TPA were primarily concerned with presidential overreach.
“But TPA in this Congress has become enmeshed in corrupt Washington backroom deal-making, along with serious concerns that it would open up the potential for sweeping changes in our laws that trade agreements typically do not include,” says Ted Cruz (R-Texas).
Were you for or against TPA? Add your opinion to the comments below.