Date: May 22, 2015
Category:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

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Wendy Fink-Weber
Senior Director of Communications
(949) 885-2256
or
Jeff Janas
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Today, by a vote of 62 to 37, the United States Senate passed The Congressional Trade Priorities and Accountability Act of 2015, which would renew Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) for the president. The strong bi-partisan support this legislation garnered in the Senate is a critical step towards renewing TPA which will allow U.S. negotiators to conclude trade negotiations and further expand export opportunities for fruit, vegetable, and tree nut producers.

Today, by a vote of 62 to 37, the United States Senate passed The Congressional Trade Priorities and Accountability Act of 2015, which would renew Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) for the president. The strong bi-partisan support this legislation garnered in the Senate is a critical step towards renewing TPA which will allow U.S. negotiators to conclude trade negotiations and further expand export opportunities for fruit, vegetable, and tree nut producers.
 
In response to Senate passage of the legislation, Western Growers President and CEO, Tom Nassif issued the following statement:
 
"The fresh produce industry applauds the Senate for passing this important trade negotiating tool. We commend Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), John McCain (R-AZ), Jeff Flake (R-AZ), Michael Bennet (D-CO), and Cory Gardner (R-CO) for the bipartisan support and leadership they provided for our member states. We hope to see the same kind of bi-partisan support from the Arizona, California, and Colorado delegations in the House of Representatives. 

While the produce sector experiences an overall trade deficit, $15 billion in U.S. exports of fresh produce commodities compared to nearly $19 billion in imports, the expansion of foreign markets is critical to opening and expanding markets for the healthy products we grow. TPA is critical for allowing our U.S. negotiators to get the best deal possible with our trading partners. 
 
Trade Promotion Authority establishes trade-negotiating objectives that reflect today’s economic challenges and create a robust framework for Congressional and stakeholder input, before sending trade agreements to Congress for an up or down vote.
 
Western Growers now urges the House to quickly pass this legislation and help create future market opportunities for the U.S. produce industry."

About Western Growers:
Founded in 1926, Western Growers represents local and regional family farmers growing fresh produce in Arizona, California and Colorado. Our members and their workers provide half the nation’s fresh fruits, vegetables and tree nuts, including nearly half of America’s fresh organic produce. For generations we have provided variety and healthy choices to consumers.
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