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Senate Passes TPA; Bill Heads to President for Signature

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

(North American Meat Institute)

The Senate last Wednesday voted 60-38 to approve Trade Promotion Authority (TPA), sending the bill to President Obama for his expected signature. TPA clarifies trade agreement objectives and priorities and sets consultation and notification requirements that the president follows during negotiations. Congress may only consider final trade agreements with an up-or-down vote, without the possibility of offering amendments that could halt a deal. TPA is seen as essential to complete the ongoing Trans Pacific Partnership and Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership agreements. Under the new legislation, TPA will expire in 2018 and can be extended until 2021.

The Senate also passed Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) on a voice vote as part of a package with the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) and a bill sponsored by Sens. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and Rob Portman (R-OH) that empowers U.S. companies to petition the Commerce Department to address trade violations. The House subsequently approved TAA by a vote of 286-138. TAA provides training and other assistance to American workers whose jobs are displaced by international trade. NAMI signed a multi-association letter supporting TAA prior to its passage.

In a statement , Meat Institute President and CEO Barry Carpenter applauded Congressional passage of TPA, saying that it will, "allow the U.S. to move forward on critical trade agreements that hold enormous potential for companies that export, and for our economy as a whole."

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