Question: What is TPA?
Answer: Trade Promotion Authority—or TPA—is a partnership between Congress and the administration that helps secure the most effective trade agreements possible. It has three main components: a list of congressionally-prescribed negotiating objectives that sets priorities for the administration to follow; robust consultation and transparency requirements that give Congress adequate oversight of negotiations and give the public a full understanding of what an agreement would mean; and a streamlined procedure to vote on a trade agreement if the administration meets its TPA obligations.
Trade Agreements Put on Fast Track
The Bipartisan Congressional Trade Priorities and Accountability Act (TPA)  introduced by Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), Ranking Member Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and House Ways and Means Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) easily passed its first hurdle when both House and Senate committees agreed to give President Obama fast-track authority to negotiate trade deals such as the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) and Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (T-TIP). The bipartisan legislation also allows Congress to vote on the treaties. But the package of bills intended to speed completion of the deal also imposes difficult burdens on its negotiators. The legislation faces difficult fights over amendments on human trafficking, currency and investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS).
The Wall Street Journal
The Port of Virginia, one of the nation’s largest, was built to handle high volumes of cargo traffic entering and exiting the U.S.
Some truck drivers who haul goods from the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach struck for the second day Tuesday in a protest against four companies they accuse of wage theft.
Cass Information Systems
North American shipment volume and expenditures rose again in March as shipments picked up significantly from the West Coast ports. The U.S. and global economies did not grow as much as expected in the first quarter, but freight movement in the U.S. continues to strengthen.
National Retail Federation
Import cargo volume at the nation’s major retail container ports is expected to rise 8 percent this month over the same time last year as West Coast ports continue to recover from a backlog of cargo that built up before a tentative new labor agreement was signed, according to the monthly Global Port Tracker report released today by the National Retail Federation and Hackett Associates.
Roughly six weeks after the International Warehouse & Longshore Union and the Pacific Maritime Association (PMA) reached a tentative five-year labor agreement, following nine months of often acrimonious negotiations that led to myriad supply chain and logistics disruptions, the ILWU said late last week that steps are being taken to make the tentative agreement a done deal.
American Journal of Transportation
A union caucus representing dockworkers at West Coast ports voted to recommend to its members a labor contract deal reached over months of negotiations that led to major disruptions to trans-Pacific trade, the U.S. Department of Labor said on Friday.
Delegates for International Longshore and Warehouse Union members are recommending the full union ratify a proposed five-year contract with West Coast port businesses.
Bureau of Labor Statistics
Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 126,000 in March, and the unemployment rate was unchanged at 5.5 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Employment continued to trend up in professional and business services, health care, and retail trade, while mining lost jobs.