Senate gives the nod to move TPA bill to the next critical phase

The Senate has now joined the vast majority of Americans that say they would support passage of Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) legislation to broaden global market access for goods and services made right here in the USA.

ACC has been an ardent supporter of the Bipartisan Congressional Trade Priorities and Accountability Act of 2015 (H.R.1890/S.995). First, we believe this TPA bill contains long-sought updates to negotiating objectives that direct U.S. negotiators to address growing challenges to the competitiveness of U.S. manufacturers in overseas markets. Second, the legislation includes new process and transparency provisions to ensure that trade agreement negotiations proceed with full input from Congress, industry and other stakeholders.

Contrary to what some may claim, TPA is not about “special interests” – it’s about negotiating free trade agreements that are in America’s best interest. As the Business Roundtable writes:

With 95 percent of the world’s population and 80 percent of global purchasing power outside of the United States, America’s global competitiveness will increasingly depend on expanding U.S. trade and investment opportunities.

The U.S. business of chemistry has a huge role to play in supporting our country’s increased competitiveness. We are one of the nation’s leading export industries, surpassing $190 billion in chemical exports in 2014. We estimate that exports could expand nearly eight percent per year through 2019, to $282 billion. To realize this growth, we must gain access to important markets, and TPA is an important administrative and substantive step to facilitate access to trading partners around the world.

The U.S. is now pursuing an ambitious range of trade agreements – including the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). These agreements will create opportunities for U.S. businesses across a wide spectrum of industries, sectors, and communities. Without TPA in place, our negotiators will not have the tools needed to conclude the strongest possible trade agreements.

In our view, that makes TPA a necessity – to unleash the massive growth potential for U.S. chemical exports, to enable chemical manufacturers to drive job growth in the broader manufacturing sector, to eliminate costly barriers to chemicals trade, and to resolve 21st century trade issues limiting manufacturing growth in the U.S. and around the world.

ACC will continue to support negotiations on the TPP and the TTIP, and we urge the U.S House of Representatives to move expeditiously to approve TPA to ensure that these comprehensive and historic negotiations are finalized and American businesses and consumers can benefit from their outcomes.

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