WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Joni Ernst (R-IA) released the following statement after voting for final passage of the Bipartisan Congressional Trade Priorities and Accountability Act of 2015, also known as Trade Promotion Authority (TPA):

"Today’s passage of the Bipartisan Congressional Trade Priorities and Accountability Act is a step toward growing export markets and leveling the playing field for Iowa exporters. Trade is critical to Iowa’s future and the health of our economy. As a net-exporting state, Iowa stands to directly benefit from new free trade opportunities that will foster our state’s agricultural exports, reduce trade barriers for our manufacturers, and create jobs.

“TPA also helps to ensure greater transparency so that Iowans are better informed about U.S. trade negotiations and can make sure we get the best trade 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. This legislation reauthorizes TPA – which expired in 2007 – through July 2018.

Senator Ernst emphasized the importance of TPA in a press conference earlier this week, citing a letter signed by more than 70 State of Iowa leaders and job creators supporting the reauthorization.

BENEFITS OF TRADE FOR IOWA

On Monday night, more than 70 State of Iowa leaders and job creators sent a letter to the Iowa congressional delegation to underscore the importance of international trade to Iowa’s businesses, workers, and farmers. According to the letter:

  • In 2014, Iowa exported a record-setting $15.1 billion in manufactured goods and value-added agricultural products.
  • Nearly 83% of these exports were from small or medium-sized businesses.
  • Iowa farmers exported $3.58 billion in soybeans, $1.99 billion in pork, $1.71 billion in corn, and $1.04 billion in feed grain.

In addition, according to the Business Roundtable:

  • Over 448,000 jobs in Iowa – nearly one in every five jobs – depend on international trade.
  • There are 3,367 Iowa-based companies that exported to nearly 190 countries in 2013.
  • 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.  
  • # # #