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April 23, 2015

Congress Gets Closer to Renewing TPA

Today, at presstime, the House Ways and Means Committee was still considering the Trade Priorities and Accountability (TPA) Act of 2015. Today’s action by Ways and Means comes on the heels of the Senate Finance Committee, which moved the TPA legislation out of that committee yesterday.

Both committees had extensive debate on the TPA provisions. The Senate Finance Committee passed the legislation by a vote of 20-6; the Ways and Means Committee is expected to pass the legislation but that may not happen until tomorrow.

The next step will be for the full House and Senate to consider TPA. Key supporters on both sides of the aisle intend for floor action to take place during May. The Senate is likely to act first. As we get closer to action in both chambers, Western Growers will be sending you email notifications asking you to send electronic messages of support to your Congressional representatives and Senators.  We strongly encourage all members to let your Representatives and Senators know you would like them to vote for passage of TPA legislation.

Trade Promotion Authority legislation gives expanded authority and input to Congress during trade negotiations.  It also gives U.S. negotiators the ability to achieve the greatest access to markets with our trading partners.  While TPA is not a trade agreement itself, the legislation is an important first step, as it provides procedural protections to trade agreements which help them move toward conclusion of negotiations in agreements such as the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP).