Trade Promotion Authority (Tpa) and the Role of Congress in Trade Policy

Trade Promotion Authority (Tpa) and the Role of Congress in Trade Policy

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Legislation to renew TPA is expected to be introduced in the 114th Congress. On July 1, 2007, Trade Promotion Authority (TPA-previously known as fast track) expired. TPA is the authority Congress grants to the President to enter into certain reciprocal trade agreements, and to have their implementing bills considered under expedited legislative procedures, provided the President observes certain statutory obligations. TPA defines how Congress has chosen to exercise its constitutional authority over a particular aspect of trade policy, while giving the President added leverage to negotiate trade agreements by effectively assuring U.S. trade partners that final agreements will be given timely and unamended consideration. On July 30, 2013, President Obama first publicly requested that Congress reauthorize TPA and he reiterated his request for TPA in his January 20, 2015, State of the Union address. Legislation to renew TPA-the Bipartisan Congressional Trade Priorities Act of 2014-was introduced in the 113th Congress (H.R. 3830) (S. 1900), but it was not acted upon. TPA reflects decades of debate, cooperation, and compromise between Congress and the executive branch in finding a pragmatic accommodation to the exercise of each branch's respective authorities over trade policy. The expedited legislative procedures have not changed since first codified in the Trade Act of 1974 (P.L.93-618). Congress, however, has required that the authority to use TPA be periodically reauthorized, and at times has chosen to revise trade negotiation objectives, the consultative mechanism, and presidential notification requirements. While early versions of fast track/TPA received bipartisan support, later renewal efforts have been more controversial, culminating in a more partisan vote on the 2002 TPA renewal. Future debates on TPA renewal may center on trade negotiation objectives, congressional oversight of trade negotiations, trade agreement enforcement, and clarifying the congressional authority over approval of reciprocal trade agreements and trade policy more generally, among others. TPA renewal may become a more pressing issue in the 114th Congress because current trade negotiations on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), and the Trade in Services Agreement (TISA) are in progress. Technically, TPA is not necessary to begin or even conclude trade negotiations, but it is widely understood to be a key element of defining congressional authority, and of passing trade agreement implementing legislation. Therefore, its renewal can be construed as signaling serious congressional support for moving ahead with trade negotiations. Addressing congressional concerns over the definition and operation of TPA may be a central part of the debate. Although there appears to be support for renewal of TPA in Congress, the details of the legislation are likely to be subject to considerable debate, including the specific treatment of any related TAA program reauthorization. This report presents background and analysis on the development of TPA, a summary of the major provisions under the expired authority, and a discussion of the issues that have arisen in the debate over TPA renewal. It also explores some of the policy options available to Congress.show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 26 pages
  • 215.9 x 279.4 x 1.52mm | 117.93g
  • Createspace Independent Publishing Platform
  • United States
  • English
  • black & white illustrations
  • 1507737440
  • 9781507737446