US President Barack Obama on Monday signed H.R. 2146 which renews the trade promotion authority (TPA) and H.R. 1295, the “Trade Preferences Extension Act of 2015,” into law.
“One of the things we ought to be doing is rewriting the rules of global trade to make sure that they benefit American workers and American businesses, and that they reflect American values -- especially now, while our economy is in a position of global strength,” Obama said “The two bills that I’ll sign today will help America do just that.”
The bills were passed by both the US Senate and US House of Representatives earlier this month.
TPA establishes the type of trade deals the president can negotiate while giving him the authority to solidify the deals. The latest bill allows Obama to close out negotiations on the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP). Trade Promotion Authority was last enacted in 2002 and expired in 2007. Benefits of the bill will allow the US to work on other trade agreements in addition to TPP it is actively pursuing such as the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (T-TIP) and the Trade in Services Agreement (TISA).
"The Trans-Pacific Partnership, for example, includes strong protections for workers and the environment," Obama said. "Unlike previous agreements, those provisions will actually be enforceable. And that’s good for American businesses and America workers because we already meet high standards than -- higher standards than most of the rest of the world. So we want to make sure that everybody else catches up. This agreement will help us level the playing field."
Representatives of the food and beverage industry commended Obama on the action which they say will allow their industries to grow and prosper with increased trade opportunities.
“We thank the entire administration for its collaboration with Congress in passing the TPA-2015 bill,” said Connie Tipton, president and CEO of the International Dairy Foods Association. “We now look forward to working both with the administration and Congress to ensure the US dairy industry receives the best deals from two trade agreements currently undergoing negotiations – the Trans-Pacific Partnership and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership.”