January 29, 2015
Trade Promotion Authority: How We Can Move the American Economy Forward
Tuesday, both the Senate Finance Committee and the House Committee on Ways and Means held hearings with U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman, on trade policy. The discussion at the hearings focused heavily on Congress giving President Obama Trade Promotion Authority (TPA). TPA, also known as “fast track,” is a cooperative tool between the legislative and executive branches to facilitate and expedite free trade agreements with foreign governments.
The American Action Forum has detailed the economic benefits of free trade agreements that can boost American growth. These include: economic expansion, job creation, bolstering U.S. GDP, and the opening of markets across the globe to American goods and services. The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), one of three pending free trade agreements, could boost U.S. GDP by $77 billion and create 550,000 jobs over the next ten years.
At the hearings Trade Representative Froman testified that granting the administration TPA would give the Congress a larger stake in the process and more say in the negotiations. He also noted that TPP was nearing finalization stating “We are not done yet but I feel confident that we are making good progress and we can close out a positive package soon.”
But to get these passed quickly, the Congress needs to give the president TPA. AAF recently released this video showing how TPA works and how it could bolster the American economy.
Douglas Holtz-Eakin, AAF’s President, recently testified before the Ways and Means Committee on the importance of passing TPA legislation: “Since 1974, every U.S. president has had the ability to negotiate free trade agreements under some form of TPA. TPA expired in 2007 and has not yet been reauthorized. This has contributed to slower negotiations for TPP and TTIP during the Obama Administration.”
“Finalizing these trade agreements depends in large part on Congress passing TPA legislation,” Holtz-Eakin said.