Ports Praise Passage of New U.S. Trade Bill

Senator Orrin Hatch
Image: Senator Orrin Hatch

Published Jun 25, 2015 9:57 AM by The Maritime Executive

American port alliance, AAPA, praised the U.S. Senate for passing a bipartisan trade bill, intended to promote exports and create new economic opportunities.

“The prosperity of the United States is inextricably entwined with that of the rest of the world and international trade agreements provide stability and equity enabling increased trade,” said AAPA President and CEO Kurt Nagle in support of the Bipartisan Congressional Trade Priorities and Accountability Act of 2015 (TPA-2015), which the Senate just approved and the House approved on June 18.

TPA-2015 establishes rigid rules for international trade negotiations to help the U.S. deliver transparent, resilient trade agreements that will boost American exports and create new economic opportunities and jobs for American workers and producers. Nagle commended Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), Ranking Member Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and House Ways and Means Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) for introducing the bipartisan, bicameral trade legislation, noting that ports provide critical transportation infrastructure for the movement of America’s exports and imports.

Nagel added, “Port cargo activity accounts for over a quarter of the U.S. economy and provides more than 23 million American jobs. AAPA believes this new trade legislation will help open the door to new markets for American goods and services, boost economic growth and generate additional well-paying jobs nationwide.”

As the unified and recognized voice of seaports in the Americas, AAPA has both independently, and in partnership with the Trade Benefits America coalition, strongly urged federal lawmakers to make TPA-2015 a priority. This is to enable the Administration to begin finalizing international trade agreements, including the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), both of which AAPA support.

 “Ports are gateways to our regional and national economies, and connect American farmers, manufacturers and consumers to the world marketplace,” Mr. Nagle said. “America’s ports are eager to help facilitate the increased trade that will be brought on by TPA-2015 and the trade agreements that will follow.”

Working in consultation with Congress, the Administration is pursuing a strong trade negotiating agenda, which consists of the following:

 · The United States is negotiating agreements with 11 Asia-Pacific economies, 28 Member countries of the European Union, 22 other countries for a trade in services agreement (TISA), and 161 Members of the World Trade Organization.

· Combined, if successful, U.S. negotiations with the Asia-Pacific and the EU presents an opportunity to set high standards and open markets with nearly 1 billion consumers, covering nearly two-thirds of global GDP, and 65% of global trade. Services negotiations cover about 50% of global GDP, as well, and over 70% of global services trade.

 · Renewing TPA, which expired in 2007 in order to get the best result in these negotiations for American workers, farmers, and businesses, consistent with Congressional priorities.