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Senate Moves Forward on TPA

first_imgEarlier Thursday, the Senate passed a motion to move forward with debate on the Bipartisan Congressional Trade Priorities and Accountability Act, which would grant President Barack Obama trade promotion authority (TPA). The vote followed two events in Washington where ASA First Vice President Richard Wilkins spoke on the importance of TPA.The American Soybean Association (ASA) commends Senate leadership and supporters from both parties for working together to pave the way for the bill to come to the floor for consideration, which should happen early next week, at which point it will be open to debate and amendment. It is possible that final vote could come on the bill as early as the end of next week, but given the number of amendments likely to be offered, the Senate will vote on the bill immediately following the Memorial Day recess.We can’t conclude agreements expeditiously without Trade Promotion Authority. In the immediate term, this means the Trans-Pacific Partnership with our partners along the Pacific Rim. In the future, it means agreements with Europe and a broad range of new partners. The bill gives the United States Trade Representative (USTR) the ability to get the best deal possible for American farmers, and it provides Congress the oversight it needs to ensure every agreement works for everyone.TPA is critical for soybean farmers because new trade agreements expand market access and help American soybean farmers as we look to maintain our position at the vanguard of world agricultural trade. Soybeans and soy products are the most valuable U.S. agricultural export.  In 2014, the U.S. exported roughly $30.5 billion in soybeans, soybean meal and soybean oil. Moreover, the export share of annual U.S. soy production has grown steadily. Between 2000 and 2010, the value of U.S. oilseed and product exports more than doubled, from $9 billion to over $20 billion.ASA needs all farmer members in each of our 30 states to reach out to their Senate offices and encourage a vote to pass Bipartisan Congressional Trade Priorities and Accountability Act. Support is especially critical from Democratic senators in soybean states, including Sens. Nelson (Fla.), Carper (Del.), Cardin (Md.), Warner (Va.), Kaine (Va.) and Heitkamp (N.D.).Please reach out to your Senate offices over the coming week and show their support for the TPA bill. Members can log on to the Soy Action Center and send an email to both Senators by clicking here.last_img read more