After weeks of debate, Sen. Orrin Hatch’s bill to promote international trade cleared its most critical hurdle in the Senate today and, following a vote later this week, will move to President Obama’s desk for signature.
“Trade Promotion Authority is a victory forUtah, where 1 in every 5 jobs relies on international trade,” said Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, upon the Senate’s vote to conclude debate on the bill. “Utah has proven itself to be one of the best states in the country for business, and greater access to customers overseas is vital to our continued growth and economic success. This bill provides the American people unprecedented transparency and a strong voice in establishing fair, responsible trade priorities that ensure that our economy continues to grow and our families continue to prosper.”
Hatch, the Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, authored the bill along with Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., the Ranking Member of the Finance Committee, andRep.Paul Ryan, R-Wis., the Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee. Final passage could be voted on as soon as Wednesday.
The Business Roundtable has reported that there are 203 countries and territories that purchase $22.1 billion dollars of Utah exports. 374,000 jobs in Utah rely on international trade agreements, and under TPA, trade deals could lead to tens of thousands of additional high-paying jobs for Utahns.
In Utah, TPA has received tremendous support from leaders including Governor Gary Herbert, nearly all members of Utah’s congressional delegation, and business leaders, including Derek Miller, President and CEO of World Trade Center Utah; Dr. Nigel Steward, Managing Director of Rio Tinto Kennecott; Jim Webb, President of the Utah Pork Producers Association; Scott Anderson, President and CEO of Zions Bank; Dow Wilson, President and CEO of Varian Medical Systems; and the Deseret News editorial board.