Working Hard to Rebuild our National Security, Improve Economic Opportunity & Protect our Constitutional Liberties

Trade Promotion Authority (TPA)

President Obama has shown disregard for our Constitution and the legislative process. TPA provides us with a tool to restrict his power by allowing Congress to oversee trade deals and adding transparency and accountability to the process. I have launched this page to better inform the constituents of the 17th Congressional District of Texas about what TPA does and does not do. There is a lot of misinformation about the bill that is being circulated; I am hopeful that this webpage will help clear the air about what the bill actually does and explain my reasons for supporting TPA.

Bipartisan Congressional Trade Priorities and Accountability Act of 2015

Trade Promotion Authority, more commonly known as TPA, is a partnership between Congress and the administration that ensures the United States secures the most effective trade agreements possible. TPA also brings greater transparency to the negotiating process by empowering Congress to conduct vigorous oversight and hold the administration accountable. TPA will help deliver the strongest possible trade agreements that will boost American exports and benefit American workers, manufacturers, farmers, ranchers, and job creators. 

Ninety-six percent of the world’s customers are outside the United States. In order to create more opportunity and more high-paying jobs here at home, we need to sell more American-made products and services overseas. That means tearing down barriers to American exports TPA will give the U.S. the best opportunity to deliver high-quality, 21st-century trade agreements. TPA will also make trade negotiators more accountable to Congressional priorities, trade negotiations more transparent and Congressional oversight more effective.

By laying down strong and enforceable rules for our trading partners, American workers will be given the chance to compete on a level playing field. We need to ensure that the U.S.—not countries like China—is writing the rules of the global economy.

TPA guarantees Congress a meaningful role in all trade negotiations. Under TPA, every member of Congress will be able to:
  • Read Negotiating Text: Allows every member of Congress to read the negotiating text.
  • Receive Detailed Briefings: Requires the U.S. Trade Representative’s office to brief any interested member on the status of negotiations at any time.
  • Attend Negotiating Rounds: Allows any member to become a “congressional adviser” and as a result eligible to attend negotiating rounds.
  • Provide Guidance: Creates House and Senate Advisory Groups to oversee negotiations and receive regular briefings. Any member can submit views.
  • Coordinate with Public and Advisory Committees: Lays down guidelines on public engagement and sharing information with advisory committees.
  • Receive adequate time to review deal: Requires the President to publish the text of a completed trade agreement 60 days before signing it.
  • Consult with a New Transparency Officer: Creates a chief transparency officer at USTR that will consult with Congress and advise USTR on transparency policies

TPA ensures Congress maintains control over changes to U.S. law and provides rules for considering trade agreements.

  • Sets Negotiating Objectives: Sets Congressional priorities for trade agreements.
  • Guarantees Long-Term Oversight: Extends trade promotion authority for six years.
  • Protects U.S. Sovereignty: Affirms that Congress—and only Congress—can change U.S. law.
  • Narrows Scope of Implementation Bills: Stipulates that all implementing legislation include only provisions “necessary or appropriate” to enacting trade deals.
  • Extends Oversight to Current Negotiations: Applies TPA requirements to ongoing negotiations, including oversight and consultation requirements.
  • Strengthens Oversight: Applies expedited procedures only to agreements finished in a specific timeframe and tightens entry-into-force procedures.
  • Provides an Off Switch: TPA sets up mechanisms for Congress to turn off the expedited procedures if the administration fails to meet its TPA obligations.

TPA Op-Eds
Rep. Bill Flores and Rep Kevin Brady- The Hill - TPA – Putting Congress back in charge and improving transparency
Sen. Ted Cruz and Rep. Paul Ryan - Wall Street Journal: Putting Congress in Charge on Trade
Rep. Paul Ryan – Washington Examiner: Voting 'yes' on trade won't give Obama carte blanche
HERITAGE FOUNDATION: Renew Trade Promotion Authority
Rep Paul Ryan - IJReview: TPA is Accountability
INVESTOR'S BUSINESS DAILY: The Conservative Case For Passing Trade Promotion Authority
Rep. Paul Ryan - Fox News: Trade Promotion Authority Will Rebuild U.S. Credibility
Rep. Mike Kelly - Time: Why Republicans Should Support ‘Fast-Track’ Authority for Obama—and Congress
Rep. Jeb Hensarling - National Review: The Conservative Case for Trade Promotion Authority 
Condoleezza Rice - Washington Post: Renew Trade Promotion Authority 
Rep. Matt Salmon - Red Alert Politics: What the Trade Promotion Authority is and isn’t

Additional Resources
Summary of Bipartisan Congressional Trade Priorities and Accountability Act of 2015
Overview of the Bipartisan Congressional Trade Priorities and Accountability Act of 2015
Frequently Asked Questions
Bill Text - Bipartisan Congressional Trade Priorities and Accountability Act of 2015
Section-by-Section Summary
Conservative Support for TPA
Top Nine Myths About Trade Promotion Authority And The Trans-Pacific Partnership

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