The U.S. Senate this week, following the House, voted to pass Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) legislation by a vote of 60-38, sending TPA to the president's desk for his signature.
"NCC applauds the Senate for action and we look forward to the president signing TPA into law. Our negotiators now have better tools to speak as a unified voice and to make sure the interests of U.S. chicken producers are on the table and considered in any trade package moving forward," said National Chicken Council President Mike Brown.
TPA is essential to ensuring a more successful outcome for the ongoing negotiations for the Trans Pacific Partnership and other trade deals. "It is necessary to have TPA enacted because it will be essentially impossible to gain Congressional trade pact approval otherwise," Brown noted.
TPA legislation provides for an up or down vote in the House and Senate without the opportunity to provide amendments or make changes in the agreements. The previous authority expired in 2007 and this vacuum has given negotiators on the other side of the table an unnecessary excuse to drag their feet toward reaching a final, beneficial deal.
U.S. poultry producers have long been advocates of free and fair trade. "TPA will ensure foreign access for U.S. chicken, generate more farm income, jobs in rural districts, and improve the U.S. trade balance," Brown concluded.