A diverse group of agriculture and food organizations sent a letter to Congress this week urging swift passage of legislation renewing Trade Promotion Authority (TPA).
The 70 groups, including poultry and livestock organizations, say TPA is necessary so that major trade deals can be finalized and implemented to help the U.S. economy.
“Their ability to compete in global markets is tied to the ability of the United States to eliminate impediments to international trade,” said the organizations, which pointed out that as a result of trade agreements implemented since 1989 U.S. agricultural exports have nearly quadrupled in value, topping $152 billion in fiscal 2014. And those trade deals have been very beneficial to the U.S. economy, with every $1 in U.S. farm exports generating an additional $1.27 in business activity and every $1 billion in agricultural exports supporting 6,600 American jobs.
TPA, the groups said, will allow U.S. trade negotiators the ability, with direction and backing from Congress, “to extract the best deals possible from other countries.” Without it, though, “our negotiating partners would be unwilling to make the toughest concessions.”
The organizations are particularly interested in finalizing the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), an Asia-Pacific regional agreement among 12 nations whose economies account for 40 percent global economic output.