Trade Promotion Authority Passes House


Northern Ag Network Note:  Within minutes of the Trade Promotion Authority passing in the U.S. House of House of Representative, we received press releases both applauding the vote and those calling it a huge setback.  We've included both so you can decide.  

 WASHINGTON (June 18, 2015) – The U.S. House of Representatives passed Trade Promotion Authority today with a vote of 218 to 208, as stand-alone legislation. The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association strongly supports TPA and applauds the House for taking this necessary step to securing future free trade deals that will boost American exports.

“Trade Promotion Authority gives Congress the ability to set definitive goals for the President in negotiations, and then requires any deal be brought back for final approval,” said Philip Ellis, NCBA President. “TPA does not give the President free rein to make trade deals. Without TPA, it would be virtually impossible to negotiate future agreements with other countries, which would hinder our ability to gain greater access into foreign markets.”

Over 12 million American jobs depend on exports, and with the renewal of TPA, valuable free trade agreements such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership can move forward. In 2014, U.S. beef exports accounted for over $7 billion in total sales and added over $350 in value for every head of cattle sold. That is value that is brought back to all segments of the industry and Ellis, a cow/calf producer from Wyoming, said that is a lot of added value to his bottom line. 

“The fact is, over 96 percent of the world’s population lives outside our borders,” said Ellis. “Consumers around the world want more beef in their diet and other countries are aggressively seeking trade agreements to give their products a competitive advantage. TPA is the foundation for us to negotiate increased market access and tariff elimination through free trade agreements.”

Today’s vote represents the second time in a week that the House has voted in favor of TPA legislation. The vote last Friday, as part of a trade package, included Trade Adjustment Assistance. Today’s vote was on TPA legislation alone. Due to its separation from the trade package, TPA legislation must now go back to the full Senate for reconsideration, as early as next week. NCBA urges the Senate to act swiftly in sending this legislation to the President’s desk.

Trade Promotion Authority was enacted in 1974 to build the framework for the Administration to negotiate trade agreements that support jobs, eliminate barriers and stop unfair trade. Once signed by the President, Trade Promotion Authority will be reauthorized for five years.

A roll call of the final vote is available here.


Source:  The National Cattlemen's Beef Association (NCBA) has represented America's cattle producers since 1898, preserving the heritage and strength of the industry through education and public policy.  As the largest association of cattle producers, NCBA works to create new markets and increase demand for beef.  Efforts are made possible through membership contributions. To join, contact NCBA at 1-866-BEEF-USA or

NFU Calls TPA Passage Major Setback for America’s Workers, Family Farmers and Ranchers and Future Prosperity


WASHINGTON (June 18, 2015) – National Farmers Union (NFU) President Roger Johnson said today’s vote to pass Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) in the U.S. House of Representatives was a major setback for America’s workers, family farmers and ranchers and this nation’s future prosperity.


“Unfortunately, instead of choosing to pass legislation that protects America’s workers, environment and health, Congress has instead passed a continuation of the status quo, said Johnson.  “And that means more lost middle-class jobs and higher trade deficits.”


TPA — also known as “Fast Track”— grants the administration the ability to secretly negotiate trade deals and only permits an up or down vote by Congress, with zero amendments.  The bill has passed the Senate once, but now returns to the Senate as leadership used a procedural end-around to move the bill forward after last week’s failed vote.


“The U.S. trade deficit for last year totaled over $500 billion, and that deficit is largely due to these flawed ‘free trade’ agreements,” said Johnson. “Our trade deficit is a net drag on our economy by a full 3 percent, which means lost jobs and lower wages for working Americans, the House had the right approach last week when it rejected this misguided measure” he said. 


Johnson noted that despite today’s vote, TPA is not a done deal. NFU will continue its fight against this legislation in each of its forms and for a more balanced approach to trade. “NFU will continue to work for a trade policy that prioritizes domestic food production and goods supply chains instead of flawed policies that force family farmers and ranchers out of business, depress wages and export too many of our best jobs,” he said. 

Source:  National Farmers Union has been working since 1902 to protect and enhance the economic well-being and quality of life for family farmers, ranchers and rural communities through advocating grassroots-driven policy positions adopted by its membership.



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