In a 60 – 38 vote, the U.S. Senate has sent Trade Promotion Authority to the President’s desk as a standalone bill not packaged with Trade Adjustment Assistance. Trade Adjustment Assistance also passed the Senate packaged with an African Trade Preference bill. The Senate passed TPA Wednesday afternoon after a procedural vote on Tuesday that passed, preventing the chance for a filibuster. TPA will allow the White House to send trade deals to Congress for up-or-down votes. The Senate will not be able to filibuster them, and lawmakers will not have the power to amend them. The expedited process greatly increases Obama’s chances of concluding negotiations on the Trans-Pacific Partnership.
“Today’s Senate vote is a big victory for Indiana corn farmers and the entire agricultural industry,” said Indiana Corn Growers Association President Herb Ringel, a farmer from Wabash. “Indiana farmers export over $410 million of corn each year. With greater market access, Hoosier farmers can do even more. Thank you to Senator Dan Coats for his leadership in our pursuit of greater trade power and his work in passing Trade Promotion Authority. We look forward to a quick signature by the President.”sued this statement following a U.S. Senate vote Wednesday sending Trade Promotion Authority legislation to President Obama’s desk.
Also reacting was Josh Kirkpatrick, a farmer from Fountain County and chairman of the Indiana Soybean Alliance Membership & Policy Committee.
“Indiana soybean farmers know just how critical trade is to our economy,” he said. “Over $2 billion dollars in soybeans and soybean meal grown here in Indiana each year are exported. We believe new trade agreements finalized with enacting of Trade Promotion Authority will provide us greater market access and new customers for our soybeans and soybean products.”
National Cattlemen’s Beef Association President Philip Ellis hailed the final passage in his statement.
“NCBA appreciates the support of the Senate on final passage of Trade Promotion Authority, a fundamental step to securing future free-trade deals that will allow beef producers greater access to foreign markets. Cattlemen and women have seen tremendous value in trade, exporting over $7.1 billion worth of U.S. beef in 2014, which alone accounts for over $350 in added value per head of cattle in the United States. This value is not just from increased demand, but also from adding value to variety meats that have very limited value here at home. As the demand for U.S. beef continues to grow around the world, the future success of the beef industry rests in our ability to meet foreign demand without inference of tariff and non-tariff trade barriers. With TPA passed, the U.S. can focus on finalizing trade agreements like the Trans-Pacific Partnership that will give us greater access to consumers throughout the Pacific Rim.”