By Barbara Olejnik
Poultry Times Staff
GAINESVILLE, Ga. — the U.S. Senate has approved the “fast track” trade legislation, giving President Obama the tools needed to complete negotiations on a 12-nation trade agreement.
On June 24, the Senate voted 60-38 for the Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) legislation, which would allow the administration to negotiate a trade agreement to be presented to the Congress for an up or down vote with no amendments.
The House of Representatives passed the TPA legislation on June 17 with a 218-208 vote and sent the bill to the Senate for action.
Passage of the TPA followed was a back-and-forth effort in both sides of Congress. Republicans largely favored enactment of the legislation. However, Democrats, aided by unions, were mainly against the fast track legislation.
Industry groups have expressed support of the Trade Promotion Authority and congratulated the Congress for enacting the legislation.
“TPA will provide the U.S. animal food industry access to growing world markets,” said Joel G. Newman, president and CEO of the American Feed Industry Association. “This growth will help ensure and create U.S. jobs, along with economically stronger rural communities.”
Wade Cowan, American Soybean Association president, noted that “with negotiators fully equipped and empowered, we no longer have to miss out on the global network of trading partnerships that continues to grow, even in our absence.”
National Chicken Council President Mike Brown added, “TPA will ensure foreign access for U.S. chicken, generate more farm income, jobs in rural districts and improve the U.S. trade balance.”
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 North American Meat Institute President and CEO Barry Carpenter.
The bipartisan Senate passage of TPA “sends a strong signal to foreign governments that we mean business at the bargaining table and are ready to complete new agreements that will break down trade barriers and open new markets from Asia to Europe, stated Bob Stallman, president of the American Farm Bureau Federation.