The Senate Finance Committee yesterday passed Trade Promotion Authority legislation by a vote of 20-6. Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-UT) said the action “marks a pivotal moment for international trade policy and reflects years of true bipartisan work.”
“We thank Chairman Hatch and Ranking Member Wyden for their leadership in introducing this important piece of legislation to extend trade promotion authority and working for the strong vote of approval by the committee,” said American Farm Bureau Federation President Bob Stallman said. “This legislation is critical to making progress on pending negotiations and promises to expand opportunities for increased U.S. agricultural exports.”
Most other agricultural organizations echoed Stallman’s comments, with the notable exception of the National Farmers Union. “(TPA) fails to address our nation’s massive and growing trade deficit or currency manipulation in member countries of TPP negotiations,” said NFU president Roger Johnson. “Congress should maintain its constitutional authority to address these concerns by rejecting TPA legislation that removes it.”
The bill still needs to pass through the Ways and Means Committee on the House side.