WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Joni Ernst (R-IA) released the following statement in support of the Bipartisan Congressional Trade Priorities and Accountability Act of 2015, also known as Trade Promotion Authority (TPA), which identifies congressional trade policy priorities, establishes new notification, consultation and transparency requirements for the Administration, provides for expedited congressional consideration of trade agreements in order to ensure our trading partners put their best offers on the table, and ultimately strengthens Congress’ voice on a final vote of approval on any negotiated trade agreement.
“Trade plays an important role in Iowa’s economy, and I’m disappointed that some in Congress are blocking bipartisan legislation to move forward on a trade agenda,” said Senator Ernst. “Iowa stands to directly benefit by opening up international trade that would boost our agricultural exports, provide new market opportunities and reduce trade barriers for our manufacturers and create more jobs here in the U.S. Importantly, passage of TPA would help to ensure greater transparency so that Iowans are better informed about U.S. trade negotiations and ensure we get the best deals possible.”
In April, the Bipartisan Congressional Trade Priorities and Accountability Act of 2015 passed the Senate Finance Committee by a vote of 20 to 6. The legislation grants TPA reauthorization until July 2018 after most recently expiring in 2007.
THE BENEFITS OF TRADE IN IOWA
- Over 448,000 jobs in Iowa – nearly one in every five jobs – depend on international trade.
- Between 2010 and the end of 2014, the value of Iowa’s exports increased by nearly 40% – from $10.8 billion to $15.1 billion.
- There are 3,367 Iowa-based companies that exported to nearly 190 countries in 2013. 83% of those companies were small or medium-sized businesses.
- Our negotiating partners in the TPP and T-TIP agreements purchased $11.3 billion (64%) of Iowa goods exported in 2013. The elimination of tariffs and other trade barriers with those countries would therefore likely result in a direct benefit to Iowa’s economy.