Hannah Ferguson

May 22, 2015  |  Today's News

Yesterday the trade bill passed a key senate vote. Today the Senate will make a final vote and then it will go to the House. TPA could be very beneficial for Illinois farmers and farmers alike. Below is TPA information from National Corn Growers.

The National Corn Growers Association remains committed to the development and maintenance of fair and open global trade practices and policies that help support and build demand for U.S. corn. Currently, the United States is pursuing an ambitious set of trade agreements that would expand markets for U.S. corn and other agricultural products.  However, to move these agreements forward Congress must first pass an important piece of legislation called Trade Promotion Authority (TPA). TPA is the only way for the President and Congress to advance trade agreements which ensure American farmers remain competitive in meeting the world’s need for food, fuel and fiber.

Your voice is critical in this debate. Please join us in telling your members of Congress that Trade Promotion Authority legislation is vital and must be passed as quickly as possible. With 95 percent of consumers living outside the United States, the future of American agriculture—and your bottom line—depends largely on the ability to sell to foreign markets.  Don’t let your competitive edge be eroded by a lack of new trade agreements.  Take action now!

What is TPA?

TPA is legislation that:

Allows Congress to give direction to the Executive Branch on trade policy priorities and provides negotiating objectives for trade agreements.

Establishes Congressional requirements for notifying and consulting stakeholders and the public before and during negotiations.

Renews the president’s authority to submit trade agreements to Congress for an up-or-down vote without amendments, assuring our trading partners that a final agreement won’t be altered by Congress.

Why Do We Need TPA?

Renewing TPA is the only way to conclude and pass new trade agreements, such as the Trans Pacific Partnership, that allow our agricultural sector to compete on a level playing field in the global market.  Other countries are already moving forward with agreements giving them preferential access to the world’s fastest growing markets.

TPA helps us extract the best deals possible from our trading partners.  From eliminating tariffs, to addressing sanitary and non-sanitary trade barriers, TPA defines negotiating parameters that other countries know will have to be met in order for the agreement to be supported by Congress.  It also protects Congress’ oversight authority by mandating specific and extensive consultations with the Executive Branch before, during and after trade negotiations.

TPA increases Congress’ power to shape legislation to implement completed trade agreements. Under TPA, the Executive Branch works with Congress to negotiate and draft the specific terms of implementing bills before the President submits them to Congress.