Grassley says restoration of TPA will benefit Iowans

Trade -- Shipping PortFrom Press Release


U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) said Wednesday he welcomed committee passage of legislation that will increase opportunities for expanded trade markets for U.S. products, including agricultural products, manufactured goods and financial products from Iowa.

“Iowa farmers, manufacturers and services providers would like access to new markets,” Grassley said.  “In turn, highly populated countries that are becoming more prosperous would like access to Iowa products.  They should have that access.  Iowans benefit when their work product is exported worldwide.  Trade supports good jobs with good pay.”

Grassley’s comments came after the Finance Committee approved legislation to restore Trade Promotion Authority, which lapsed in 2007.   This authority sets forth a formal process for Congress to consider trade agreements negotiated by the executive branch.  Trade Promotion Authority gives U.S. negotiators a stronger hand than they have without it.  It’s considered critical for finishing the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement under negotiation.  That agreement would expand U.S. market access to 11 countries and maybe more.

An estimated 95 percent of the world’s consumers live outside the United States.  Of more than 260 free trade agreements in force, the United States is party to only 14 of them.

“The United States has been on the sidelines on trade expansion, and the world has moved on without us,” Grassley said.  “We need to get back in the game.  We need to increase exports of U.S. goods and services for economic growth in Iowa and the rest of the country.”

Grassley is a senior member and former chairman of the Finance Committee, with jurisdiction over trade.