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What They’re Saying: Congressional Passage of Trade Promotion Authority, AGOA, and Preference Packages

“I applaud the Democrats and Republicans in Congress who came together to give the United States the chance to negotiate strong, high-standard agreements for free and fair trade that protect American workers and give our businesses the opportunity to compete. With bipartisan majorities, Congress also voted to expand vital support for thousands of American workers each year, and to bolster economic relations between sub-Saharan Africa and the United States. Of course, we still have more work to do on behalf of our workers, which is why I'll continue to encourage Congress to pass robust trade enforcement legislation that will help us crack down on countries that break the rules. But this week's votes represent a much-needed win for hardworking American families.”

-President Barack Obama [06/25/2015]

On Wednesday, June 24, the Senate passed a final vote for the Bipartisan Congressional Trade Priorities and Accountability Act of 2015 by a vote of 60-38. The legislation will go to the White House to be signed by the President, and plays a vital role in ensuring the United States can negotiate high standards trade agreements like the Trans-Pacific Partnership and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership. On Thursday, June 25, the House voted 286-138 to renew Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA), a program that provides retraining for workers who have lost their jobs because of trade, along with a reauthorization of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) and two trade preference programs – Haiti HOPE II and Generalized System of Preferences, to assist Haiti and more than 120 developing countries sell their goods to the United States. Here’s a look at what people are saying about the passage of TPA, TAA, AGOA, and preference packages.

Administration Official Statements

Ambassador Michael Froman, United States Trade Representative (USTR):  “This has been a landmark week for furthering the President’s trade agenda.  Congress passed bipartisan legislation that sets a high bar for our trade negotiations, spurs sustainable economic development, trains American workers, and improves the enforcement of our trade laws to support American manufacturing.  Each of these initiatives is an integral part of using trade to unlock opportunity for America’s middle class and strengthen our leadership abroad.” [06/25/2015]

Secretary John Kerry, Department of State: “Today, the United States took a major step to promote prosperity and security at home and enhance our leadership abroad. I applaud Congress for passing Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) legislation. This bipartisan action grants President Obama the authority to negotiate trade deals that will simultaneously ensure our national security and guarantee our prosperity. It also provides a concrete framework that will enable our country to complete one of the most significant trade agreements in our history, the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), and encourage progress on a similar deal with Europe.” [06/25/2015]

Secretary Penny Pritzker, Department of Commerce: “I want to thank Members of Congress in both parties who came together on behalf of America’s workers and our businesses by authorizing Trade Promotion Authority (TPA).  Today’s vote will allow our country to negotiate and finalize modern, high-standard trade agreements that reflect our values and ideals, including in the Asia-Pacific and Europe. TPA will help American businesses and workers better compete in the 21st century economy by opening up and expanding opportunities in new markets.” [06/25/2015]

Secretary Tom Vilsack, Department of Agriculture: "Congress took a bipartisan stand to support American businesses, communities and families, rural and urban alike. Passing Trade Promotion Authority legislation helps to secure the future of American agriculture and the rural way of life, and will protect American workers, create new opportunities for rural businesses, and protect the environment…"I also applaud Congress for passing Trade Adjustment Assistance, a necessary program that provides job training and other benefits to help workers compete in a globalized economy, and the African Growth and Opportunity Act, which provides mutual benefits to the United States and our trading partners in sub-Saharan Africa and puts in place important incentives to adopt good governance and pro-growth and pro-development policies, including on labor and human rights. This legislation is vital to ensuring protections for American workers and the continued strength of our relationships with trading partners." [06/25/2015]

Secretary Jack Lew, Department of Treasury: “The bipartisan final approval of Trade Promotion Authority will help create new opportunities for American workers and U.S. businesses.  Trade Promotion Authority is critical to concluding 21st century trade agreements that support good American jobs, and ensuring that our trading partners embrace the high standards and protections that we uphold here in the United States.  I am also pleased that Congress passed Trade Adjustment Assistance, which each year will provide 100,000 workers, on average, with access to vital job training and other job-related assistance, and the African Growth and Opportunity Act, a program central to our trade relationship with Africa.  I encourage Congress to swiftly work on, and pass, trade enforcement legislation that includes robust tools to address unfair trading practices and deal with countries that break the rules.” [06/25/2015]

Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet, Small Business Administration: “Today, Congress took an important step in writing the rules of the road that protect American workers and U.S. companies by passing Trade Promotion Authority (TPA). TPA will provide President Obama a critical tool to conclude the most progressive trade deal in our history. The Trans Pacific-Partnership will address trade barriers that make it cost prohibitive for many U.S. businesses to reach new markets. TPP can help our entrepreneurs reach millions of new customers with products Made in the USA. If we do not help our businesses export into these markets while our competitors do, the United States will fall behind in the global economy. This is an important step toward helping more U.S. small businesses look beyond their neighborhoods and beyond our borders to engage in the global economy.” [06/25/2015]

Congressional Member Statements

House Committee On Ways And Means:  “This afternoon, House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) and Trade Subcommittee Chairman Pat Tiberi (R-OH) joined House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) for the enrollment of trade promotion authority legislation just passed by both the House and Senate. With the speaker’s signature affixed, the bill is now on its way to the White House for the president to sign into law.”  [06/24/2015]

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA): “With the passage of the Trade Preferences Extension Act, the final piece of the free trade puzzle is in place, and Congress now has a greater seat at the table to ensure the best possible trade deals to benefit American families, consumers, workers, and businesses. Getting to this point took a strong bipartisan effort, and I want to express my gratitude for the leadership of Ways and Means Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (WI-01) and Subcommittee on Trade Chairman Pat Tiberi (OH-12) to get this across the finish line. Free trade has profound positive benefits for the American economy, and with Trade Promotion Authority, America will have strong footing to shape the global economy and increase ties with our allies across the world. This is a big win for America, and I look forward to the economic growth and opportunities that increased free trade will bring.” [06/25/2015]

House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH): “I think it’s a big win for the American people.  Trade is good for American farmers, for manufacturers, and small businesses.  It wasn’t an easy lift, we’ve got a lot left to do to make sure that we’re helping the American people address their priorities.” [06/24/2015]

House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI): “I want to congratulate my colleagues in the Senate for voting to advance TPA. Only with TPA can the U.S. win a fair deal for the American worker in trade negotiations. And only with TPA can the U.S. rebuild its credibility on the world stage. I’m proud of my colleagues—in both houses, on both sides of the aisle—for working together to promote American trade. Some work remains to complete our trade agenda, but this has been a good day.” [06/23/2015]

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY): “A new Congress that’s back to work for the middle class just notched another win for everyone who cares about strengthening American paychecks, American jobs, and the American economy. Achieving this positive outcome was never going to be easy, but it proves that the power of a good idea, no matter where it comes from, can win out over the stasis of gridlock. That’s why Republicans were glad to accept President Obama’s support in advancing a principle we’ve long believed in — that we ought to show our support for American workers by knocking down unfair foreign trade barriers that discriminate against products stamped ‘Made in the USA.’ We’re grateful for the President’s efforts to help us move this idea forward, and we applaud him for speaking truth-to-power to his base.” [06/24/2015]

Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN):  “I voted for this legislation because trade agreements can open up foreign markets to U.S. goods and products. Ninety-five percent of the world’s consumers live outside of the United States, and they should have the opportunity to purchase goods produced in the U.S. I support free trade because free trade means jobs. Look at the soybeans Tennessee farmers sell to Asia, the auto parts Tennessee workers sell in Asia and Europe and the medical devices from Memphis and Nashville sold around the world. In return, Tennessee has attracted companies from across the globe that sell their products in the U.S. and abroad, and more than 829,000 jobs in Tennessee depend on trade.” [06/24/2015]

Senator John Boozman (R-AR): “International trade supports over 340,000 jobs in Arkansas. That’s one in every five jobs. That number will continue to rise as we open new markets for Arkansas’s agricultural producers, small businesses and globally engaged workforce. When we trade our goods and services with other nations, we improve market access for American exports, grow our economy and create jobs at home. That is why we have a responsibility to pursue the strongest free and fair trade agreements that we can negotiate. TPA helps bring our potential trading partners to the table while maintaining Congress’s important role in the process.”  [06/24/2015]

Senator Tom Carper (D-DE): "I'm proud of the strong, bipartisan work the Senate has done to send this historic Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) bill to President Obama's desk for his signature. For the first time, there are requirements for enforceable labor and environmental provisions. There is clear attention to issues like human rights. And there is enhanced transparency for Congress and the public as trade agreements are being negotiated. We've also made remarkable progress in approving a robust piece of Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) legislation. I believe we have an obligation to lend a helping hand to hard-working Americans whose jobs may be displaced as we increase our exports to countries around the globe, and it's my hope that the House will quickly consider and pass this bill. [06/25/2015]

Senator Dan Coats (R-IN): “Today’s vote was not on a final trade agreement,” said Coats. “This vote gives the administration authority to negotiate trade agreements with other nations under strict parameters set forth by Congress. At the conclusion of these negotiations, Congress will vote again on whether to approve or reject a new trade deal… One of the key issues I want to see included in any future trade deal is a reduction in punitive foreign tariffs on U.S. products, which range as high as 70% on cars and 75% on consumer goods. This would ensure free and fair trade between our nations. I support increasing international trade because doing so will strengthen Indiana’s economy, create more good-paying jobs and give Hoosier businesses and farmers access to new markets. By opening emerging foreign markets to Indiana agricultural and manufacturing products, Hoosier farms, families and companies can grow and thrive in an increasingly global economy.” [06/24/2015]

Senator Susan Collins (R-ME): “TAA plays an essential role in helping hardworking Americans who, through no fault of their own, lose their jobs as a result of what is often unfair foreign competition. TAA Programs enable displaced workers to acquire the new skills and the new training necessary to prepare for jobs in other industries. I am pleased that the Senate passed bipartisan legislation this afternoon that would reauthorize the Trade Adjustment Programs that have proven successful in retraining and reemploying American workers.” [06/24/2015]

Senator John Cornyn (R-TX):  “Trade Promotion Authority will enable Texas farmers, ranchers, and small businesses to sell their goods and services in new markets around the world, allowing them to continue to grow and compete in the global economy. Today’s strong bipartisan vote is proof positive that whether it’s fighting human trafficking, ensuring Medicare patients have access to the care they need, or promoting effective trade policy, under the new Republican majority the Senate is back to work.”  [06/24/2015]

Senator Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas): “Trade Promotion Authority is a win for our state economy. Expedited consideration of trade agreements will yield greater access to world markets for products produced or grown in Arkansas. Our exports will grow exponentially, resulting in both higher revenues and more jobs for the Natural State. This legislation also contains important safeguards to ensure the President’s trade negotiations occur in a transparent manner and that Congress retains oversight of the administration’s negotiations. Rest assured, I will fight back against any misuse of this economic tool.” [06/24/2015]

Senator Joni Ernst (R-IA): “Trade Promotion Authority is foundational to opening up new free trade opportunities around the world, and I am pleased to see it is one step closer to implementation. As a net exporting state, Iowa stands to directly benefit from increasing our state’s agricultural exports and reducing trade barriers for our manufacturers. TPA is key to strengthening the role of Congress in trade negotiations, fostering greater transparency so that Iowans are better informed about U.S. trade agreements, and encouraging our negotiating partners to put their best deals forward to ensure that the U.S. gets the best deals possible.  President Obama must now work with Congress to continue moving forward on a robust trade agenda. Opening up more free trade opportunities around the world is vital to Iowa’s future and the health of our national economy. I urge the President to put this trade legislation into action as soon as possible.” [06/24/2015]

Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA):  “I intend to vote for cloture on the Trade Promotion Authority bill because the facts show that expanded trade with the Asia-Pacific region helps California and the country as a whole.”  [06/22/2015]

Senator Cory Gardner (R-CO): “Today’s vote is a victory for the hundreds of thousands of Coloradans whose jobs and livelihoods are already supported by trade, and the millions more who will benefit from increased trade. TPA empowers our negotiators to get the best deal possible for American workers, while imposing strict requirements for transparency and public oversight on any trade agreement reached.” [06/24/2015]

Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA):  “Trade Promotion Authority is key to finalizing the Trans-Pacific Partnership.  This agreement would benefit Iowa and its many export-dependent jobs.  Almost 40 percent of the world’s Gross Domestic Product is from the 12 countries participating in the negotiations.  Several of the participating countries are expected to add billions of people to their middle class in the next several years.  The trade agreement would allow those individuals to buy more products from Iowa and the rest of the United States.  Iowa produces everything from farm commodities to heavy machinery to financial services.  Emerging markets should have access to what Iowans produce, to the benefit of Iowans.”  [06/24/2015]

Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT), Chairman Finance Committee: “With Trade Promotion Authority back in our trade arsenal, we can continue as the premier leader on global trade and open more international markets for American farmers, ranchers, and businesses.  These new opportunities will mean better jobs, bigger paychecks, and a healthier economy here at home.” [06/24/2015]

Senator Johnny Isakson (R-GA):  “International trade supports 1.2 million jobs in Georgia. This bill is good for Georgia agriculture. It’s good for the Port of Savannah. It’s good for Georgia manufacturing and business. It’s a win-win-win. You can’t negotiate with all 535 individuals in Congress and expect healthy trade. This legislation provides for unprecedented congressional oversight of the trade agreement negotiating process and it bars agreements from making any changes to U.S. law without further congressional action. Under this legislation, Congress retains the authority to either approve any trade agreement, or to determine that an agreement will not benefit the United States and to vote it down. Without Congress setting out clear negotiating objectives, the president could negotiate a trade deal without Congressional input or oversight.”  [06/24/2015]

Senator Ron Johnson (R-WI):  “Our state grows and manufactures many things that consumers around the world want to buy.  That demand helps fuel our state economy and creates well-paid jobs.  Those jobs, and future job growth, would be at risk if the U.S. withdraws from trade agreements and cedes foreign markets to global competitors.”  [06/24/2015]

Senator Mark Kirk (R-IL):  “As an export state, this is a victory for Illinois and its 1.7 million jobs dependent on trade. More export deals for our farmers and manufacturers to move Illinois products around the world will drive our entire economy and unleash job growth across the state.”  [06/24/2015]

Senator Lisa Murkowski (R – Alaska): “When Alaskans discuss economic partners – being separated from the contiguous 48 – more often than not we’re talking about exports with partners abroad.  International trade supports 90,000 Alaskan jobs, roughly 70 percent of which are part of our small- and medium sized-business community, from fishermen to natural resource developers. Trade Promotion Authority allows Congress to lay out the rules of engagement and set benchmarks for success for negotiators to pursue when discussing international agreements, evaluate the results, and keeps free trade moving forward.  That’s why I continue to support this bipartisan effort which means so much to Alaska in terms of strengthening partnerships and opening new markets for Alaska’s exports.” [06/24/2015]

Senator David Perdue (R-GA): “Free trade creates opportunities for Georgians and supports more than a million jobs in my home state. That’s why I supported Trade Promotional Authority (TPA), which gives Congress more oversight than ever before in any trade deals negotiated by the President. TPA holds President Obama completely accountable to transparency and oversight measures instituted by Congress. That way, the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), or any other trade deal, must undergo the scrutiny of Congress and be made open to the American people before they can take effect. While TPP negotiations are ongoing, when there is a final agreement, it must be made public for a full 60 days before Congress even votes on it.” [06/24/2015]

Senator Ron Portman (R-OH): “TAA provides important protections for American workers and families looking to get back on their feet, and this bill also includes my provision to extend the Health Coverage Tax Credit, which is vital for USW retirees and Delphi salaried retirees in Youngstown, Dayton, Sandusky and beyond.  I authored the bipartisan bill to extend the HCTC, and am delighted that this legislation has passed the Senate and look forward to swift passage in the House. Now that the trade package has passed with my provisions to protect Ohio workers, I will continue my fight for a balanced approach to trade that increases exports while also holding foreign competitors accountable. It's the right thing to do for Ohio and for middle-class jobs.” [06/24/2015]

Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR): “Today the U.S. Senate voted on a bipartisan basis to step into the ring with the world and fight for the best deals for American workers and employers, instead of retreating to our corner.  From the beginning, President Obama and I have been committed to crafting the most progressive trade legislation ever. Better trade bills produce better trade agreements. So I’m proud to say this trade package will create the opportunity for new, good-paying jobs, to strengthen support for American workers, and to give our trade laws the teeth they need to crack down on trade cheats. The trade package the Senate passed today will end the race to the bottom on labor, human rights, the environment and promote an open Internet. This framework raises the bar on all of the values that Oregonians and Americans hold dear. This is a blueprint for trade done right.” [06/24/2015]

Representative Karen Bass (D-CA): “After years of tireless work and effective advocacy, our work in Congress to reauthorize the African Growth and Opportunity Act is now complete. I am proud that both the House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate voted overwhelmingly to reauthorize AGOA, sending the legislation to the President and guaranteeing a seamless and long-term extension of this vitally important law…I look forward not just to President Obama signing this legislation, but also continuing to work with you as we look beyond AGOA’s reauthorization. Today’s vote marks a new chapter and American leaders must be as focused as ever on this vitally important part of the world. From 2000 to 2010, six of the world’s 10 fastest-growing economies were in sub-Saharan African countries.  And this growth has helped to grow Africa’s middle class, which has tripled in size over the last 30 years--numbering 313 million people, greater than 34 percent of the population of the whole continent.” [06/25/2015]

Representative Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR): “American workers drive our economy and providing support that helps them succeed leads to a stronger, more prosperous country. The passage of TAA will contribute to the development of a more robust, adaptable workforce. Many of the jobs created from expanded trade opportunities pay higher wages, but they may also require new skills. TAA provides training and support to help workers meet the demand in our changing economy. I have repeatedly supported legislation to renew this program, and I am pleased that the House passed it today.” [06/25/2015]

Representative Mike Bost (R-IL): “I believe in the benefits of trade, but it must be fair trade. Our legislation strengthens America’s trade remedy laws, and that’s a win for the steel industry in Southern Illinois and for other industries that suffer the consequences of illegal foreign trade practices.  Without the reforms included in our legislation, American businesses would continue to suffer significant – and often, permanent – harm before they can seek relief.  I’m proud the House joined Rep. Davis and me in restoring common sense to these laws. [06/25/2015]

Representative Charles W. Boustany, Jr., MD (R-South Louisiana): “Today’s vote by the Senate sends a message loud and clear to our negotiating partners that America is stepping up, we are ready to lead, and we are not afraid to embrace our role as the world’s dominant economic power. TPA is the catalyst for getting strong 21st-century trade agreements to help us write the rules of the global economy that will be the most beneficial for American workers and businesses. I applaud the Senate for taking this step and look forward to this measure being signed into law by the President as soon as possible.” [06/24/2015]

Representative Jim Costa (D-CA): “Today’s bipartisan passage of Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) provides necessary protections and resources for American workers who are displaced by trade. TAA will allow our economy to grow, while ensuring that hardworking Americans have the opportunity to succeed. Each year, TAA will provide $450 million worth of job training, community college education, relocation allowances and job search assistance, all while not cutting funding to any federal programs.  Since its inception in 1974, more than 2.2 million trade-impacted American workers have benefited from TAA services… As always, I remain committed to supporting job growth in our nation.  As trade negotiations are finalized, I reserve the right to vote against either the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) or the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) if I believe they jeopardize good-paying jobs in our Valley and in our nation.” [06/25/2014]

Representative Rodney Davis (R-IL): “I am pleased by the amount of support shown today for our provisions to strengthen trade enforcement rules. By holding foreign competitors who break our trade laws accountable, we can protect American workers, support American-made products, and grow American jobs.” [06/25/2015]

Representative Rick Larsen (D-WA): “I have long supported TAA as a way to help workers whose jobs have been hurt by an increasingly globalized economy. I am pleased the House voted today to renew this program to help workers get the training they need to get back into the job market quickly… “Trade matters for a healthy economy in the Pacific Northwest. Opening up new markets for our businesses to sell their goods and services is a key way to help them grow and create jobs here at home. The 2015 TPA bill gives the President the authority he needs to finalize trade agreements based on strong direction from Congress. The President now has a package of trade bills that will help level the playing field for our workers while upholding labor and environmental protections we have worked so hard in this country to achieve. I look forward to his signature on TPA, TAA, and the other measures that will better position our country to compete in the global economy.” [06/25/2015]

Representative Kristi Noem (R-SD): “95 percent of the world’s consumers live outside our borders, so America limits its growth if we can’t reach them on a level playing field. When South Dakota has the opportunity to export goods to countries where the U.S. has a trade agreement, we sell approximately 11.5 times more goods than we would to a country where that relationship hasn’t been established. TPA gives our negotiators the tools necessary to reach a fair deal that can produce those kind of results.  I applaud the U.S. Senate for passing this critical bill and I strongly urge the President to move quickly in signing it.” [06/24/2015]

Representative Charlie Rangel (D-NY): "I am very proud that we were able to work together in both chambers and across the aisle to pass this critical bill that will extend the AGOA, and help promote trade and economic growth for both American and African businesses. It is important to recognize that while the United States has always enacted these programs out of a desire to help poorer nations prosper and develop, we are also beneficiaries of these programs. As the prime author of AGOA which was first enacted in 2000, I thank Ways and Means Committee Chairman Ryan for his leadership in putting together a package that is key to long-term, meaningful investment in Africa – which itself is the engine of growth. I also thank my colleagues who worked with me to improve it. I am pleased that we are also extending the Haiti programs to 2025, which will put them on the same schedule as AGOA and make it easier for us to consider their extensions at the same time. It is my hope that this kind of long term extension will help African entrepreneurs to expand their existing investments. [06/25/2015]

Representative Dave Reichert (R-WA): “It is a win for the American people and the American economy that trade promotion authority (TPA) is on its way to the President’s desk. With this tool in hand, we set the priorities, we hold the Administration accountable, and we guarantee our constituents a voice in any trade agreement that is negotiated. This has been something I, and my Ways and Means colleagues, have put years of work and effort into and it is exciting to see that pay off. I am also proud because this bill includes provisions I authored to ensure much deserved fairness for public safety officers.” [06/24/2015]

Representative Peter Roskam (IL-06): “TPA requires the President to pursue 150 major objectives mandated by Congress in negotiating a free trade deal. Additionally, this legislation, for the first time ever, requires President Obama to make the full text of any proposed trade agreement public for 60 days so every American can review it. Only then can Congress vote on whether to approve or reject it. The enactment of TPA represents a major opportunity to strengthen the U.S. economy and ensure the American people—not just the President—are setting our international trade policies.” [06/24/2015]

Representative Steve Scalise (R-LA): “Today’s bipartisan Senate action to pass critical American trade legislation sent a strong message to our allies around the world – America is the global economic leader, and that we—not China—are setting the rules of the road on trade. TPA will give U.S. workers a competitive edge, so that we can create jobs and grow a healthy economy here at home. I urge President Obama to quickly sign this critical legislation into law in order to help create good-paying jobs, grow our economy, and strengthen our national security.” [06/24/2015]

Representative Adam Smith (D-WA): “I voted in support of Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) today because it allows workers in my district and across the country to access critical support to compete in our global economy. Those who are impacted from increased competition deserve to be retrained so they can reenter the job market. TAA will expire on September 30 and unless it is reauthorized, our workers will no longer have access to this assistance… Our nation's economy and success depend on our workers.  Over the last decade, I have been a strong supporter of Trade Adjustment Assistance and have led the effort to protect, extend, and enhance the program.  Despite this bill being imperfect, I believe in this program and will continue this fight for good jobs, to ensure American workers can provide for their families, and that our country remains competitive.” [06/25/2015]

Representative Pat Tiberi (R-OH): “With the Senate passage of TPA we are closer than ever to seeing “made in America” labels all over the world and even closer to unlocking more American job opportunities that trade agreements provide. When the president signs TPA, it puts the U.S. in the best possible position when negotiating trade agreements that knock down barriers so American businesses can sell their goods and services overseas. I commend Ways and Means Chairman Paul Ryan for his leadership and his tireless efforts educating members about what TPA is and isn’t. TPA requires transparency and accountability in trade agreements, ensuring that all Americans will be able to know what’s in them. Next, Congress needs to pass trade adjustment assistance to help displaced workers and negotiate a final customs bill to ensure strong enforcement of our trade laws. Trade agreements help position the United States to continue leading the world well into the future.” [06/24/2015]

Think Tank Statements

Edward Alden, Senior Fellow, Council on Foreign Relations:  “America’s politics have been broken for so long that it is rather shocking when things go right. But President Obama’s careful work across the aisles with the Republican congressional leadership to pass a new Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) bill this week shows that good governance is still possible. The passage of TPA greatly strengthens the Obama administration’s foreign and economic policy position for its final 18 months. In Asia, it clears the way for a successful conclusion this year of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) with Japan and 10 other Asian countries. The TPP, while fairly modest in its economic impact, is the biggest U.S. trade agreement since the NAFTA with Mexico and Canada two decades ago. And it puts the United States in the lead in writing the rules for trade in the region, just as an increasingly assertive China is trying to take that role away. If Congress had failed to grant Trade Promotion Authority, the TPP talks at best would have limped along and at worst collapsed, severely weakening U.S. economic influence in the region.” [06/25/2015]

Ian Bremmer, President, Eurasia Group: “This looks like a big, strategic piece…It’s a global strategy doctrine that will move the world in a direction that, in the long term, is useful for the investments of America.” [The Washington Post, 6/25/2015]

Jim Kessler, Senior Vice President for Policy, Third Way:  “The passage of TPA is not just a win for the middle class and for President Obama’s economic legacy, but also represents the resounding defeat of a massive, special interest scare campaign. Despite the conventional wisdom declaring this deal dead, TPA’s passage is a potent reminder of the power of the political center…It is time for Democrats to get out from the shadow of NAFTA and see modern trade deals for what they are, not what they were. We are disappointed that more Democrats did not support this crucial legislation, but we are gratified that enough did. We applaud the 13 Senate Democrats, 28 House Democrats, and the entire Obama Administration who stared down the politics of the past in order to help America and Americans look to the future and compete in the 21st century.” [06/25/2015]

Richard Haass, President, Council on Foreign Relations: “Good 24 hours for Potus:  gets #TPA thru congress & now the #ACA thru SCOTUS.  A rarity: all 3 branches of US govt on same page.” [Twitter – Richard Haass, 5/25/2015]

Simon Rosenberg, President, National Democratic Network (NDN): "NDN is pleased that the U.S. Senate voted to advance trade promotion authority today. We expect that TPA will pass the full Senate later this week and head to the President's desk for signing soon after. We hope that this new momentum will allow USTR Froman to bring the TPP round to a rapid close in the coming weeks. Once again, we applaud the more than 40 Democrats in the House and Senate who voted to pass TPA in the last few weeks." [06/25/2015]

Stakeholder Statements

American Council of Life Insurers (ACLI): “The American Council of Life Insurers (ACLI) commends the Senate for passing trade promotion authority once again, a move that will send the measure to the White House and the president's expected signature. ACLI appreciates the extended bi-partisan cooperation on this bill. ACLI recognizes the dedicated efforts by Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), Majority Whip John Cornyn (R-Tx.), Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), Finance Committee Ranking Member Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and others who worked hard to keep the bill moving forward.” [06/24/2015]

American Soybean Association (ASA): The farmer leaders of the American Soybean Association (ASA) praised the Senate for a vote today that advances trade promotion authority (TPA) to President Barack Obama’s desk, and called on the president to sign the bill as quickly as possible, citing the importance of TPA in creating and strengthening international trade agreements. [06/24/2015]

Americas Society and Council of the Americas: “Americas Society and Council of the Americas commend the U.S. House of Representatives for passing Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) today. Upon final passage by the Senate, TPA will facilitate the prompt conclusion of the 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). In addition to the United States, TPP includes four countries from the Western Hemisphere—Canada, Mexico, Peru, and Chile. This agreement promises to advance hemispheric trade expansion and upgrade existing free-trade pacts with a high-standards approach, for which the Council of the Americas Trade Advisory Group has long advocated.” [06/25/2015]

Barry Carpenter, President and CEO, North American Meat Institute:  “Today’s Senate approval of TPA is a major step forward that sends a message to the world that the U.S. is serious about trade,” said Carpenter. “With President Obama’s signature, TPA will allow the U.S. to move forward on critical trade agreements that hold enormous potential for companies that export, and for our economy as a whole. TPA clarifies trade agreement objectives and priorities and sets consultation and notification requirements that the president follows during negotiations. TPA is key to finalizing critical free trade agreements like the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which are essential to the stability and long term viability of our industry by expanding U.S. beef, pork, lamb and poultry exports” [06/24/2015]

Bobby Koch, President and CEO, Wine Institute: "As a result of free trade agreements implemented since 1989, U.S. agricultural exports have nearly quadrupled in value and now stand at a record $152.5 billion. Trade agreements have helped boost U.S. wine exports to nearly $1.5 billion in 2014. Trade Promotion Authority is key to the U.S. completing strong agreements that will uphold the 2006 US-EU Wine Trade Agreement, open new markets and set enforceable rules for trade with other countries.” [06/24/2015]

Cal Dooley, President and CEO, American Chemistry Council (ACC): “ACC applauds the Senate and members of the U.S. House of Representatives for bringing our country one step closer to realizing its historic international trade agenda. TPA is essential for concluding ambitious trade agreements which can help facilitate a powerful surge in U.S. chemical exports and boost economic growth and job creation at home. The bipartisan TPA legislation also open the doors for historic free trade agreements, in particular the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), which can boost manufacturing, create jobs and grow our nation’s economy. Granting the President TPA sends a signal to our partners around the world that America embraces its continued leadership role in the global economy, and that rules-based trade should form the basis of our international trade system.” [06/24/2015]

California Chamber Of Commerce: “The California Chamber of Commerce today commended the U.S. Senate for passing Trade Promotion Authority. The measure renews the authority for the President and/or U.S. Trade Representative to negotiate trade agreements. Trade is an important engine for California’s economic growth and jobs. The California business community particularly appreciates votes by members of our congressional delegation in support of TPA. Those who supported this important measure understand that California will reap big rewards.” [06/24/2015]

Cargill: “Cargill applauds the passage of the Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) bill in the U.S. Congress. This bipartisan bill gives the executive branch the ability to negotiate trade agreements such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which are important for the future of the U.S. economy and for global food security.  Passage of the TPA bill allows the U.S. and 11 other Pacific Rim countries to move forward on negotiations over the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a trade agreement that represents 40 percent of the world’s economy. The Trans-Pacific Partnership aims to set a precedent for modern international trade, which would also include standards for environmental protection and labor rights. Cargill believes this deal will benefit the world economy, including U.S. businesses who would be able to reach 485 million new customers in Asia.” [06/24/2015]

Cary Sherman, Chairman and CEO, Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA): "We congratulate Senators Hatch and Wyden and Chairman Ryan for their leadership in crafting forward-looking Trade Promotion legislation, and in working with other key Congressional leaders and the White House in shepherding this vital trade legislation through Congress.  This vote demonstrates leadership and resolve in seeking to expand economic opportunities for the U.S. economy as a whole, including of course the creative community. “ [06/24/2015]

Chip Bowling, President, National Corn Growers Association (NCGA): “Today is a huge victory for America’s corn farmers and the entire agricultural industry. Ag exports are a major driver of the U.S. economy, supporting more than one million jobs. With greater market access, American farmers and ranchers can do even more. Thank you to both the Senate and the House of Representatives for passing Trade Promotion Authority. We look forward to a quick signature by the President. With major trade negotiations underway in the Asia-Pacific region and Europe, today’s vote could not have come at a better time. The U.S. is back in the driver’s seat, negotiating the best possible deal for American farmers and livestock producers in these and other future trade agreements,” [06/24/2015]

Chris Padilla, Vice President of Government and Regulatory Affairs, International Business Machines Inc.: “We are on the brink of a cutting-edge Pacific trade agreement that will ensure data flows freely in the cloud, and that governments don’t build barriers to the Internet in this century the way they built tariff walls against manufactured goods in the last one…” [The Wall Street Journal, 6/25/2015]

Cody Lusk, President, American International Automobile Dealers Associations (AIADA): “This is a huge victory – not for Democrats or Republicans – but for all Americans. The Congress’ bipartisan support of TPA empowers businesses, like dealerships, to open new locations, create new jobs, and deepen their investment in American communities.” [06/24/2015]

CompTIA: “CompTIA, TECNA and 27 regional tech councils praise the efforts of the U.S. Senate in passing Trade Promotion Authority.  The vote was 60-38, following another close vote in the House last week, 218-208.  This legislation will now go to the President to be signed into law.  In recent weeks, these tech groups and their thousands of members have been encouraging Members of Congress to support this critical legislation.” [06/24/2015]

Connie Tipton, President and CEO, International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA): “We commend the Senate for its bipartisan collaboration in passing the TPA-2015 bill. We thank all the Senators and Representatives who supported TPA and look forward to the President signing this important legislation into law as soon as possible. The U.S. dairy industry will continue to grow and prosper with increased trade opportunities, and TPA is critical to ensuring that U.S. dairy companies receive the best deal in future trade agreements” [06/24/2015]

David Thomas, President, Trade Benefits America Coalition: "Today, the Senate joined the House in seizing a critical opportunity to support U.S. growth and jobs and demonstrate U.S. economic leadership to the rest of the world. We thank the members of the U.S. Senate who voted for Trade Promotion Authority legislation to complete strong, enforceable trade deals that benefit American workers, job creators, and farmers.” [06/24/2015]

Dennis Slater, President, Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM): “Today's vote to give President Obama commonsense tools to negotiate trade agreements is a momentous, bipartisan victory for both equipment manufacturers and our elected leaders. ‘Fast-track’ authority will enable this administration and its successors to pursue trade deals that break down barriers that inhibit manufacturers' ability to sell their products overseas and, by extension, support jobs here in the United States. [06/24/2015]

Donna Harmon, President and CEO, American Forest & Paper Association (AF&PA): “International commerce is vital to the pulp, paper, packaging and wood products industry. In 2014, direct U.S. exports of forest products amounted to $31.9 billion, but our industry also benefits from exports of other goods. Paper, paperboard and wood packaging materials sold domestically are used to package and transport goods exported by other U.S. industries. Either by direct or indirect exports, our industry will benefit by opening new international markets and breaking down foreign trade barriers.” [06/24/2015]

Doug Oberhelman, Chairman and CEO, Caterpillar: "Congressional passage of TPA marks a significant victory for supporters of trade and economic growth. Caterpillar has been a consistent, forceful voice for trade throughout our 90-year history; and we're glad to see a bipartisan Congressional majority reaffirm that the U.S. is serious about increasing trade. We're also especially proud our employees sent more than 27,000 letters to Washington to ensure their position in favor of trade was known during this debate. We commend President Obama, Ambassador Froman, Speaker Boehner, Leader McConnell, Senators Hatch and Wyden, and Chairman Ryan for their commitment and persistence throughout this long process. We are optimistic that TPA will lead the way for many new market-opening agreements, including the Trans-Pacific Partnership." [06/24/2015]

Doug Oberhelman, CEO, Caterpillar Inc.: “We are optimistic that (fast-track) will lead the way for many new market-opening agreements, including the Trans-Pacific Partnership…” [Reuters, 6/24/2015]

Gary Shapiro, President and CEO, Consumer Electronics Association (CEA): “Kudos to the Senate for passing TPA legislation. It is a common sense bill, which simply guarantees a vote on trade agreements and directs our trade negotiators to balance intellectual property rights with an open-and-fair flow of commerce. We thank the senators who voted for TPA. You are friends of innovation, technology, jobs and a more peaceful world. Thanks to members of both houses who worked hard to reach a bipartisan compromise and supported this bill. We thank the administration for making trade and TPA passage a priority, and look forward to President Obama signing the legislation.” [06/24/2015]

Hun Quach, Vice President for International Trade, Retail Industry Leaders Association: “Retailers applaud the Senate for approving Trade Promotion Authority and paving the way to economic growth by providing American consumers and businesses with access to new markets. With its final approval from Congress, TPA will now ensure the Administration brings home trade agreements that create new opportunities for American businesses and bolsters U.S. competitiveness around the world." [06/24/2015]

Jim Holte, President, Wisconsin Farm Bureau: "We are pleased that Senator Ron Johnson of Wisconsin voted yes with 59 other U.S. Senators to pass TPA. We appreciate Senator Johnson's overall support of trade. He understands its importance to Wisconsin agriculture. This legislative effort has been a priority of Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan and we appreciate his leadership on this important issue for agriculture.” [06/26/2015]

Leigh Ann Pusey, President and CEO, American Insurance Association (AIA): “AIA praises the Senate for passing TPA legislation.  As both the President and Congress understand, Trade Promotion Authority is essential for the ratification of trade agreements including the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP), the Trade in Services Agreement (TiSA), and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP).  TPA assures the Congress that it has the ability to set clear negotiating priorities and that the Administration will consult with Congress during trade negotiations.  TPA also gives our negotiating partners confidence that trade agreements will face a fair ratification process in the U.S., which encourages them to embrace the highest standard commitments possible.” [06/24/2015]

Linda Moore, President and CEO, TechNet: “This is a major victory for America’s innovation economy.  Both the House and Senate have voted to advance a 21st century trade policy that for the first time embraces the digital economy. The technology sector is an enterprise with people, products and operations circling the globe, supporting 6.3 million jobs across tech manufacturing, software publishing, telecommunications, R&D and IT services.” [06/24/2015]

Mario Longhi, President and CEO, United States Steel Corporation: “I applaud Congress for passing groundbreaking trade legislation, giving President Obama the authority to negotiate strong trade agreements and open new markets for American goods and services while protecting American manufacturing and American workers. The reauthorization of TAA, which supports displaced workers affected by unfair trade, also provides new language to ensure our trade laws confront unfair trade practices in the U.S. market. These legislative developments represent a victory for our efforts to level the playing field with countries who have taken advantage of our nation's trade laws for far too long.” [06/25/2015]

Matthew Shay, President and CEO, National Retail Federation: “This is a landmark step toward tearing down trade barriers that stand in the way of a truly free and open global economy. TPA will help complete trade agreements that will open new markets for U.S. companies and help retailers provide American families with the products they need at prices they can afford. This will ultimately mean more jobs for American workers and lower prices for American consumers. After weeks of partisanship, it’s refreshing to see Congress finally put good policy ahead of politics.” [06/24/2015]

MetLife: “MetLife, Inc. applauds action by both the House and the Senate to renew Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) legislation. The final congressional approval of TPA provides a path forward for the pending Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP), which is critical to U.S. companies doing business in the Asia-Pacific region. The trade agreements facilitated by TPA will encourage access to the financial protection and other life insurance products that are in growing demand globally.” [06/24/2015]

National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA): “The National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) today welcomed final passage by the U.S. Senate of the Bipartisan Congressional Trade Priorities and Accountability Act of 2015 (TPA-2015), which sets market-opening objectives for U.S. international trade negotiations and establishes a transparent process for Congress to advise on and consider implementation of any trade agreements negotiated by July 1, 2018. Following the 60-38 vote, the act now goes to President Barack Obama for his signature.” [06/24/2015]

National Milk Producers Federation and U.S. Dairy Export Council: “The National Milk Producers Federation and the U.S. Dairy Export Council today thanked the Senate for passing and sending to the White House new Trade Authority (TPA) legislation. The two dairy groups also praised Senate passage of complementary Trade Adjustment Assistance legislation to help those who lose jobs as a result of trade. They urged the House to quickly approve TAA and send it to the president as well. NMPF and USDEC said Trade Promotion Authority is crucial to negotiating a better deal for dairy farmers in the pending Trans-Pacific Partnership, as well as in future free trade agreements. They urged the president to sign the bill, which passed the House last week, as soon as possible.” [06/24/2015]

Peter Allgeier, President, Coalition of Service Industries (CSI): “This action puts the United States squarely back on the playing field of trade negotiations that are so important to our prosperity.” [06/24/2015]

Philip Ellis, President, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association: “NCBA appreciates the support of the Senate on final passage of Trade Promotion Authority, a fundamental step to securing future free-trade deals that will allow beef producers greater access to foreign markets. Cattlemen and women have seen tremendous value in trade, exporting over $7.1 billion worth of U.S. beef in 2014, which alone accounts for over $350 in added value per head of cattle in the United States. This value is not just from increased demand, but also from adding value to variety meats that have very limited value here at home. As the demand for U.S. beef continues to grow around the world, the future success of the beef industry rests in our ability to meet foreign demand without inference of tariff and non-tariff trade barriers. With TPA passed, the U.S. can focus on finalizing trade agreements like the Trans-Pacific Partnership that will give us greater access to consumers throughout the Pacific Rim.” [06/24/2015]

Samuel R. Allen, Chairman and CEO, Deere & Company: “"We are pleased this important trade bill has moved another step toward enactment. Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) strengthens the ability of the U.S. to advance a robust trade agenda that will expand jobs and opportunities for American businesses, farmers, and workers. This benefits our customers, our employees, and Deere's business opportunities. Enhanced global trading relationships benefit our John Deere customers and our business around the world. As living standards and urbanization continue to increase globally, more agricultural productivity is needed and additional construction of infrastructure is required. Pro-trade policies that open economies and foster growth improve the likelihood these challenges can be met." [06/24/2015]

Semiconductor Equipment and Materials International (SEMI): “SEMI applauds the work of the Administration and Congressional leadership to get this important legislation across the finish line.  TPA will help establish concrete rules for international commerce and boost exports for vital U.S. industries. U.S. semiconductor and equipment and materials companies export nearly 80% of their products to foreign markets.  Passage of TPA will be a key factor for industry growth in the coming years as the U.S. looks to finalize negotiations on both the Trans-Pacific Partnership and the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership.” [06/24/2015]

The Society Of Chemical Manufacturers And Affiliates (SOCMA): “The U.S. Senate today seized an opportunity to promote U.S. growth and jobs in a global economy by passing Trade Promotion Authority (TPA). The Society of Chemical Manufacturers and Affiliates (SOCMA) praises the effort of Senate leaders who understand just how important this legislation is when negotiating free trade agreements such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP).” [06/24/2015]

Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, Mayor of Baltimore; President, U.S. Conference of Mayors: “The U.S. Conference of Mayors applauds yesterday’s Senate procedural vote supporting Trade Promotion Authority and calls for final passage. The Conference recently concluded its 83rd Annual Meeting in San Francisco where we reaffirmed our policy in support of TPA and the Administration's completion of high standard, 21st Century trade deals with Pacific Rim and Trans-Atlantic nations.” [06/24/2015]

Thomas J. Donahue, President and CEO, U.S. Chamber of Commerce: "With the bipartisan approval of Trade Promotion Authority, the U.S. Congress has prioritized economic growth and job creation here at home. In doing so, our leaders in Washington proved they could tune out the populists and demagogues of the left and the right and take action on an important measure to put our economy back on track. The Obama administration and Republican and Democratic leaders in Congress deserve great credit for setting aside partisanship and working together to pass this bill. It should serve as a model for how important things can get done going forward. The business and agriculture community's near universal support played an important role in the passage of TPA.” [06/24/2015]

Texas Instruments (TI): “We are pleased with today’s vote on Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) as a reaffirmation of our nation’s resolve to engage and lead in the global economy.  We commend the strong leadership of the President, the House and Senate leadership and the many Senators and Representatives who have worked tirelessly to restore our nation’s ability to shape the rules governing international trade. [06/24/2015]

Tom Linebarger, President and CEO, Cummins Inc.: “The Senate has voted to help complete strong trade agreements that open new markets for U.S. businesses, farmers and workers to compete in the global marketplace, support well-paying American jobs and deliver much-needed economic growth. We urge the President to sign this legislation and for the Senate and House to pass Trade Adjustment Assistance legislation as soon as possible.” [06/24/2015]

Javier Palomarez, President and CEO, United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (USHCC): "The USHCC is thrilled that after months of debate, Congress has passed bipartisan Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) and Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) legislation. We applaud the unwavering commitment of President Obama, Congressional leaders, and fellow business advocates that ultimately led to legislative victory and the opportunity to grow American exports, create new jobs, and protect our workers.” [06/25/2015]

Washington Council On International Trade (WCIT): “The Washington Council on International Trade (WCIT) and its members – manufacturers, retailers, farmers and service providers – applauded the leadership of Washington’s congressional delegation upon Senate passage of Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) legislation. With this critical legislation finally headed to President Obama’s desk, WCIT thanks Senators Murray and Cantwell and Representatives DelBene, Herrera Beutler, Kilmer, Larsen, McMorris Rodgers, Newhouse and Reichert for their strong and unwavering support of our state’s tradebased economy throughout the multiple challenges and setbacks over the last two months.” [06/24/2015]

William R. Carteaux, President and CEO, The Plastics Trade Industry Association: “On behalf of the nation’s $380-billion plastics industry and its 900,000 workers, SPI congratulates the Senate for approving Trade Promotion Authority (TPA). This vote finally clears the way for TPA to reach the President’s desk, and will give trade negotiators the authority and the flexibility they need to finalize a robust Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) between the United States and 11 Pacific-rim countries. This historic agreement has the potential to expand exports, a critical component of America’s domestic growth and a vital part of the U.S. plastics industry’s continued success at home and abroad.” [06/24/2015]

Media Statements

New York Times: “American allies in Asia on Wednesday welcomed a United States Senate vote that appeared to clear the way for a final round of negotiations over a sweeping trans-Pacific trade pact and may have made it easier for governments to make politically risky concessions….For Mr. Obama, the deal, which appeared headed toward passage on Wednesday, represents an important element of the so-called pivot to Asia to help maintain United States influence as countries grow increasingly dependent on trade with China.” [The New York Times, 6/25/2015]

Steve Kornacki, MSNBC: “This was a big victory for President Obama. It clears the way for what could be the biggest bipartisan achievement of his entire presidency. He can now finish negotiating a massive 12-nation trade deal, the Trans Pacific Partnership, TPP, which, if completed, would become a cornerstone of Obama`s domestic and global legacy.” [MSNBC Transcript, 6/24/2015]

Wall Street Journal: “Pragmatic Alliance Between Obama and GOP Leaders Got Fast-Track Bill Through…both sides built a winning coalition based on shared interests in passing trade promotion authority, a piece of legislation that makes it easier for the White House to get congressional approval for trade deals. The law’s final passage Wednesday, after a bumpy few weeks in which it was declared dead, represents the first time Mr. Obama and the Republican Congress successfully negotiated to pass a major piece of legislation.” [The Wall Street Journal, 6/25/2015]

Washington Post: “Obama scores a major trade win, burnishing his foreign policy legacy…President Obama won new powers from Congress on Wednesday to bring home an expansive Pacific Rim free-trade deal that analysts said could boost U.S. economic standing in Asia and ultimately burnish his foreign policy legacy.” [The Washington Post, 6/25/2015]