Lindsay Mitchell

Apr 09, 2015  |  Today's News

Export market is the largest market for Illinois corn.

If you missed yesterday’s Corn Scoops, you might want to start there for a reminder on this vitally important industry.

Without Trade Promotion Authority (TPA), the near future of trade looks bleak.

We shared a lot of valuable information with you about TPA here (so if you need a refresher course, check back!) but the high points are:

  • TPA allows Congress to tell the President what America must have out of a trade agreement.  It basically tells the other negotiating countries where the line in the sand lies.
  • TPA establishes requirements for Congressional oversight during negotiations.
  • TPA creates an up-or-down vote for proposed trade agreements without allowing Congress to make amendments and alter the negotiated terms.  Think about being another country hoping to negotiate with the U.S.  If you know that your terms are very likely to be altered, are you going to put your best deal on the table?  Probably not.

So yes, TPA can be scary because some Congressmen (and some Americans) don’t want to trust the President with additional authority.  Other Congressman are not pro trade because they believe it penalizes American workers.

But the folks in the middle understand that TPA is necessary if we are to increase export opportunities for America prior to a new President being elected.  And those folks foresee TPA moving as soon as next week.

Educate yourself now.  Read up and understand exactly what TPA does and doesn’t do.  Because when that bill is dropped, we need farmers to tell their Congressmen just how important trade opportunities are to their farm’s bottom line.

NCGA’s Zach Kinne shared a short update on TPA today and you can find that here.  In my opinion though, this quote wraps it up:

 “We are expecting a bill as soon as next week,” said Kinne. “When the bill is introduced, it is critical that farmers let Congress know that TPA must be passed, and very quickly, in order for us to move forward in expanding and opening markets.

“The clock is ticking. The rest of the world is not going to wait for the U.S. to get its act in order. They will move forward with their own preferential agreements in some of the fastest growing regions of the world. We have a lot of opportunities ahead of us on the horizon. The United States is in the midst of expansive trade negotiations in both the European Union and the Asia Pacific region. With such opportunities out there, it is time for Congress to act.”