Today, fourteen former chairs of the President’s Council of Economic Advisers sent a letter to the leadership in Congress expressing their strong support for renewal of Trade Promotion Authority (TPA). The economists signing the letter have served each of the last seven Presidents—all the way back to President Ford—demonstrating the rich, bipartisan history of support for Trade Promotion Authority.
In his State of the Union, the President called on Congress to work with him to secure approval of bipartisan trade promotion legislation – building on the 80 year history of Democrats and Republicans working together to promote American exports that support American jobs that pay higher-than-average wages. Export-related jobs pay up to 18 percent more, on average, than non-export-related jobs. TPA establishes clear procedures for the consideration of trade agreements and reaffirms that U.S. negotiators and the President have the support of Congress when fighting for the interests of American workers and American small businesses.
As detailed in the recently released Economic Report of the President authored by our current Council of Economic Advisers, exports driven by high-standard trade agreements like the ones the President is negotiating can have profoundly positive impacts here at home – including yesterday’s announcement by the Department of Commerce that exports of goods and services supported 11.7 million jobs in the United States in 2014. Today’s letter signers agree, stating in the letter that:
Expanded trade through these agreements will contribute to higher incomes and stronger productivity growth over time in both the United States and other countries. U.S. businesses will enjoy improved access to overseas markets, while the greater variety of choices and lower prices trade brings will allow household budgets to go further to the benefit of American families.
Trade Promotion Authority will help us secure the best possible agreements with the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (T-TIP). Yet, TPA hasn't been updated in over a decade. Today’s letter is another powerful statement that it’s time to get it done.