Trade Promotion Authority - Good for Minnesota

By Kevin Paap, Minnesota Farm Bureau Federation President

Agriculture exports currently support over 60,500 Minnesota jobs both on-farm and through processing, transportation and manufacturing. With the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) trade negotiations currently being discussed, these jobs and other economic benefits will continue to grow. However, in order to stand firm and show other countries that the United States is ready to act on final offers at the negotiating table, Congress must pass Trade Promotion Authority (TPA).

Agriculture needs the government to continue its work to open markets, expand economic development and support a strong rules based trading system. Even with TPA, Congress plays a strong role in the conduct of trade negotiations and ultimately has the final say on accepting trade deals.

Representatives Erik Paulsen, Tom Emmer and John Kline have stood up to ensure that Minnesota’s economy can continue to grow through trade by voicing their support for a new TPA bill. Agriculture and other industries rely on these expanded markets, and we thank the Congressmen for their work on this issue.

It’s time for Congress to pass new Trade Promotion Authority legislation. This is an authority that has been granted for every administration since 1974 and expired in 2007. TPA should be given again. We need to show other governments that we are serious about moving ahead with trade negotiations.