On Thursday, June 18, Congressman Brett Guthrie (KY-02) voted in support of H.R. 2146, the Trade Priorities and Accountability Act of 2015, legislation to reauthorize Trade Promotion Authority (TPA).
TPA empowers Congress to lay out the process by which the Administration must negotiate trade agreements. TPA is a vehicle for ensuring American trade priorities are met when negotiating trade agreements. With more than 95 percent of the world’s consumers outside of the United States, TPA is a useful tool in expanding American trade.
“TPA strengthens Congress’ role in American trade policy by ensuring that the president conducts trade negotiations according to the will of Congress and the American people,” said Guthrie. “By laying the ground work for how the Administration negotiates these potential trade agreements, we are able to ensure that our priorities are met, and not just those of the president. It also establishes greater transparency in the negotiating process by granting Congress the ability to conduct vigorous oversight, holding the Administration and our potential trading partners accountable.”
Kentucky exported more than $27.5 billion worth of goods last year, but that number could grow by bolstering American trade.
“Free and fair trade provides an opportunity to open new markets for job creators like Kentucky farmers, manufacturers, and small business owners,” Guthrie said. “Advancing these policies will help boost our economic recovery and local efforts to grow jobs.”
In 2013, nearly 4,500 companies exported goods from the Commonwealth, and nearly 80 percent of those exporters were small or medium size businesses. Among Kentucky’s most exported goods are soybeans, wheat, poultry products, transportation equipment, and computer/electronic products.