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Thursday, June 25, 2015

TPA Fast Track on Free-Trade

On June 23, 2015 the Senate adopted a law giving President Obama the power to “fast-track” talks on free-trade pacts such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) after months of fierce debate in both houses of the Congress.  The trade bill advanced 60-37, with the minimum votes needed to break a Democratic-led filibuster against the so-called Trade Promotion Authority. Thirteen Democrats sided with GOP leaders on the vote, and five Republicans

Trade Promotion Authority (TPA), as the measure is called, means that Congress will only get to vote up or down on the treaties in question once they are finalized by the White House, without the ability to offer amendments.

On April 16, 2015 The United States Fashion Industry Association (USFIA) applauded the introduction of the bipartisan Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) legislation, Bipartisan Congressional Trade Priorities and Accountability Act of 2015.  They pointed out, that the passage of TPA will allow the Obama Administration to conclude the TPP, a potentially groundbreaking agreement for fashion brands and retailers doing business in the Asia-Pacific region, as well as create ambitious trade policy for the future, such as the Transatlantic Trade & Investment Partnership (TTIP), a historic trade negotiation with Europe.  Read more about the The United States Fashion Industry Associations thoughts on TPA.

Learn more about government issues relevant to the fashion industry here on Apparel Search.

Historical reference:

The fast track negotiating authority for trade agreements is the authority of the President of the United States to negotiate international agreements that Congress can approve or disapprove but cannot amend or filibuster. Also called trade promotion authority (TPA) since 2002, fast track negotiating authority is a temporary and controversial power granted to the President by Congress. The authority was in effect from 1975 to 1994, pursuant to the Trade Act of 1974, and from 2002 to 2007 by the Trade Act of 2002. Although it expired for new agreements on July 1, 2007, it continued to apply to agreements already under negotiation until they were eventually passed into law in 2011.  In 2012, the Obama administration began seeking renewal of the authority.

You may also have interest in learning about the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (T-TIP).

How does this affect the USA apparel industry?

According to the Trade Promotion Authority website (June 2015), “We know that exports support American jobs.  And we know that U.S. trade agreements sustain those job-supporting exports:  our agreements with just 20 partners support 46 percent of our country’s goods exports overall.   In fact, exports accounted for a third of U.S. growth since 2009.  The trade agreements we’re working on right now – T-TIP and TPP – account for 65 percent of the world’s goods and services trade and would account for 69 percent of U.S. goods exports.  TPA will help to get those agreements in force and support American jobs.”  That sounds like it is good for USA clothing factories.


If you know more information on this subject you are welcome to share your thoughts in the comment area below.  We would be happy to hear why you like or dislike the trade bill.

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