As corn farmers look to increase demand in the face of abundant supply, the importance of Trade Promotion Authority to U.S. farmers has grown. Today, NCGA Director of Public Policy Zach Kinne sat down to explain why TPA is important not only for agriculture but also for all Americans.
Kinne began by explaining what exactly Trade Promotion Authority is, and what it does.
“Trade Promotion Authority is legislation that does three things,” said Kinne. “First, it allows Congress to give direction to the executive branch on trade policy priorities and objectives for any trade agreements that are being negotiated. Second, it establishes Congressional requirements for consulting stakeholders and the public before and during negotiations to ensure that those objectives are being met. Finally, and most importantly, it renews the president’s authority to submit trade agreements to Congress for an up or down vote without amendments. This assures our trading agreement won’t be altered by Congress.”
Additionally, Kinne took a look at the history behind TPA, its benefits for the U.S. economy and its importance for farmers in particular.
“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.”
As legislation progresses, NCGA will continue to supply timely information and opportunities for farmers to voice their support for Trade Promotion Authority. To take action now, click here to send a letter to your elected officials. To amplify your message, find out how to call your elected officials personally and voice your support by clicking here.