Trade The Importance of TPA-2015


TPA, or trade promotion authority, is a procedure that allows the President of the United States to negotiate trade agreements in a timely and effective manner. TPA establishes a set of objectives that each trade agreement, and the President, should uphold, but it also supports the President’s constitutional right to negotiate with foreign governments. Congress can still vote yes or no on the proposed agreement but they can’t amend or filibuster the deal. This, in effect, expedites the process, allows the United States to remain competitive in the global marketplace, and achieves the best deals for American businesses, farmers, workers, and consumers. 

TPA cements America’s role as a leader in the global economy. It gives the United States a unified voice, which translates into more power when negotiating trade agreements with foreign governments. This helps boost the U.S. economy, because it allows for more American-made products to be exported overseas, while limiting trade barriers. TPA also aids the U.S. in enforcing rules for its trading partners, which ensures the global marketplace is fair but prioritizes American economic interests. Promoting free trade policies leads to innovation, higher-paying jobs, new markets and opportunities, among other benefits. These factors all help the United States maintain a prosperous and productive economy. 

Formerly known as fast track authority, TPA allows for a faster process without limiting the presence of Congress, or the public, during negotiations. Congress must be consulted throughout the process and oversees that the 150 negotiating objectives outlined in TPA are met. However, Congress does not have the power to change any details in the agreement. This eliminates the option to second-guess or change anything in the proposed agreement, which would slow the negotiation process. With TPA, the public is also given an opportunity to learn about agreements before a vote. It establishes guidelines that require the President to make the text of a trade agreement public for 60 days prior to signing it. This balance of power supported by TPA, makes it easier to complete negotiations on trade agreements and allows the U.S. to remain competitive with other countries, without alienating Congress or the American people. 

Without TPA, there would be a lack of accountability and transparency for the administration when negotiating foreign trade agreements. TPA ensures trade agreements are negotiated in a manner that includes oversight from Congress and gives the public an opportunity to learn, as well. This guarantees that the main objective of TPA is to support trade agreements that promote U.S. economic interests and will, in turn, create more jobs, higher wages, and overall benefit American workers.