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TPA Gives the US Strong Negotiating Power

Written by: Mallory Gaines   |   March 3, 2021

Trade

On July 1, the Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) granted by Congress, giving the president authority to “fast-track” trade negotiations, is set to expire. TPA has been utilized during presidential administrations since 1974 and has only been authorized four times. Congress sets trade negotiating objectives and the president can use those objectives to negotiate trade deals. In addition, Congress cannot offer amendments to the negotiated deals and can only vote them up or down.

The American Feed Industry Association strongly supports the implementation of TPA and encourages the Biden administration to seek renewal. TPA allows U.S. trade representatives (USTR) to have a stronger negotiating stance since Congress cannot prolong agreement and change agreed to positions between the negotiating countries with amendments.

As trade in the animal feed and pet food sector continues to grow, the ability of the United States to open markets lies in its ability to come to the negotiating table without worry that Congress will undermine their agreements.

When asked on her views on the re-authorization of TPA, USTR candidate Katherine Tai gave a noncommittal answer only to say that she would “consult closely with Congress on trade negotiations and trade legislation advanced by the Senate Finance Committee.” She added that she would “work to pursue trade policies that receive bipartisan support in Congress.”

As the administration has stated its focus will be on domestic issues, it is unclear if it will request TPA renewal. The AFIA is working to make our position known to the administration and will continue to encourage TPA renewal.

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