Hatch: TPA Empowers Congress, Not Obama

Sen. Orrin Hatch says his trade-promotion authority bill, far from being another Obama power grab, actually puts Congress back in control of American trade policy.

Writes Hatch in an op-ed at The Hill:

Put simply, TPA is the most important tool Congress has in its arsenal to advance a robust trade agenda that will boost American exports and create new economic opportunities and better jobs for American workers, manufacturers, farmers, ranchers and entrepreneurs.

TPA reaffirms Congress’s oversight of trade agreements and ensures that Congress has a voice to set priorities before a trade agreement is finalized. By setting clear negotiating objectives in TPA, Congress is able to specify what a potential trade agreement must contain in order to gain passage — allowing lawmakers to see that the needs of their constituents are met in any trade deal.

Congress has not passed a TPA bill since 2002, and the world has changed dramatically in the last 13 years. For that reason, TPA 2015 updates congressional negotiating objectives to focus trade agreements on setting fair rules and tearing down barriers to trade in the 21st century economy.