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 Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is more than a Free Trade Agreement aimed at reducing tariffs among the participants. The TPP is an ambitious, 21 st century “comprehensive and high-standard” Free Trade Agreement that aims to liberalize trade in nearly all goods and services, including beyond those currently established in the World Trade Organization (WTO) and remove Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT’s).
The U.S. government created the Foreign Trade Zone Act of 1934 as a way to motivate economic growth and development in the United States. What was a good idea then continues to offer advantages to importers and exporters today.