NTU Endorses Legislation to Fast-Track Free Trade Agreements

Dear Chairman Hatch and Ranking Member Wyden:
On behalf of the members of National Taxpayers Union, I am writing to endorse your legislation S. 995, the “Bipartisan Congressional Trade Priorities and Accountability Act of 2015.” This bill would enact Trade Promotion Authority (TPA), which would help facilitate and expedite agreements between the United States and foreign trading partners.
As you know, TPA or “fast track” was last enacted into law in 2002 and paved the way for significant trade deals that have fostered greater prosperity and economic liberty. TPA provides the most expeditious path for adopting new pacts that will help grow the economy, create jobs, foster stronger relationships with foreign nations, and help Americans of all economic backgrounds.
According to the U.S. Trade Representative, exports accounted for 13.5 percent of the U.S. economy and supported 11.3 million jobs in 2013. At the same time, the benefits of imports are often overlooked or downplayed, despite the fact that they help lower the cost of goods and services while boosting employment. According to a 2013 study by Trade Partnerships Worldwide, “U.S. imports supported more than 16 million net, direct and indirect American jobs, representing 9.3 percent of total U.S. employment.” Additional trade pacts will only increase the benefits to our nation that come from free and open commerce.
NTU is pleased to see that your legislation strikes a reasonable balance between executive and legislative authority while improving transparency measures. We are particularly encouraged by the bill’s provisions requiring the administration to pursue congressionally defined objectives during negotiations and creating a process by which Members of Congress can directly interact with the U.S. Trade Representative.
Enactment of the Bipartisan Congressional Trade Priorities and Accountability Act of 2015 would be a boon for America’s taxpayers. We thank you for introducing this pro-growth legislation and hope all Members of Congress will work toward its swift passage.

Brandon Arnold
Executive Vice President