May 22 2015
WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator John Boozman (R-AR) released the following statement after the Senate passed legislation to grant the executive branch Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) for six years:
“When negotiated properly, free and fair trade agreements have proven that not only can American businesses compete, they truly can succeed in a global economy. When we trade our goods and services with other nations, we improve market access for American exports, grow our economy and create jobs at home.
International trade supports over 340,000 jobs in Arkansas. That’s one in every five jobs. That number will continue to rise as we open new markets for Arkansas’s agricultural producers, small businesses and globally engaged workforce.
Passing TPA ensures that we can negotiate a fair deal while maintaining Congress’s important role in the process. Members of Congress have access to the proposed deal, can attend negotiations with the U.S. delegation, and get 60 days to review the text of any trade agreement before the President can sign it. Any commitments not disclosed to Congress before trade agreements are introduced will have no force of law. Most importantly, Congress still retains the authority to decide on the final deal.
Here’s the bottom line. At this moment, container ships are rolling into our ports, packed to capacity, but leaving empty. We need to reverse that trend. American businesses deserve a level playing field in the global marketplace. We need to approach this issue with the mindset that for every 100 customers American businesses have, 20 live here and 80 live overseas. Our policies must reflect that fact.”