National Farmers Union (NFU) President Roger Johnson applauded today’s House vote that effectively kills – at least for now – Trade Promotion Authority (TPA), also known as fast track authority. TPA would grant the administration the ability to secretly negotiate trade deals and only permit an up or down vote by Congress, with zero amendments.
“Today’s vote was a clear signal that the fast track authorities being negotiated for the president simply do not live up to their hype,” said Johnson. “NFU is hopeful this action gives Congress the time to rethink granting the president the ability to bypass Congress’s constitutional check on trade negotiations, an ability that has served as a major setback for America’s workers, family farmers and ranchers and this nation’s future prosperity.”
Johnson noted that in the past, TPA has fast-tracked trade deals that have consistently increased trade deficits, exported jobs and lowered wages for Americans.
“The U.S. trade deficit for last year totaled over $500 billion, and that deficit is largely due to these flawed ‘free trade’ agreements,” said Johnson. “Our trade deficit is a net drag on our economy by a full 3 percent, which means lost jobs and lower wages for working Americans,” he said.