CropLife America Encourages Congress to Move Trade Promotion Authority Bill Forward
WASHINGTON, D.C. – CropLife America (CLA) is disappointed that the Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) bill is currently in limbo due to the House’s rejection of the Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) bill in a 126-302 vote. While the House took a symbolic vote to pass TPA, the legislation cannot move forward due to procedural rules that package TPA with TAA. TPA provides the U.S. with better access to foreign markets and would give President Obama the ability to complete the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade pact and other in-progress trade agreements.
“There many issues in the TPP negotiations that are important for the crop protection industry and, by passing TPA, Congress can help ensure that the U.S. is an active partner in these discussions,” stated Jay Vroom, president and CEO of CLA. “We are dismayed that technicalities have halted the implementation of legislation supporting robust trade with other countries. CropLife America encourages Congress to take swift action to move TPA forward without further delay to help ensure a bright future for trade and the crop protection industry.”
Current TPP negotiations include critical issues for the crop protection industry, such as: protection of intellectual property rights, coordination and acceptance of Codex pesticide Maximum Residue Levels (MRLs) to facilitate global trade of agricultural commodities, and the immediate or expedited elimination of remaining chemical tariffs which directly impact trade in pesticide chemical company intermediates. A resolution of these and other issues would have a direct benefit to global agricultural trade and productivity.
The agricultural marketplace remains a strong aspect of the U.S. economy. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) expects rice exports to reach $1.9 billion in fiscal year 2015, and USDA increased the total forecasted rice export volume by 100,000 from February due to stronger sales in the Middle East and South America.1 Oilseed and product exports are expected to reach $31 billion, an increase of $100 million from USDA’s previous estimate. Strong competition from countries such as Argentina and Brazil, however, may limit U.S. soybean oil export volume and reduce export value.
“We cannot allow the U.S. to fall behind in global agricultural trade,” added Vroom. “We support the President in his efforts to ensure that our nation develops strong trade relationships with other countries—benefiting our economy, our businesses and our farmers.”
1 Outlook for U.S. Agricultural Trade, Electronic Outlook Report from USDA’s Economic Research Service and Foreign Agricultural Service. May 28, 2015. http://www.ers.usda.gov/media/1847182/aes86_final-3-.pdf