Vilsack calls for TPA renewal, consideration of CPTPP
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack this week called on Congress to renew Trade Promotion Authority and said that the United States should consider joining the Comprehensive and Progressive TransPacific Partnership, which emerged when the Trump administration abandoned the TransPacific Partnership that the Obama administration was negotiating.
The current TPA expires July 1. It gives the executive branch the authority to negotiate trade agreements that Congress will only vote up or down, not amend.
“I’m hoping that Congress during the course of this year begins to get serious about resuming and extending Trade Promotion Authority, which will then give us the opportunity to complete negotiations with the U.K. potentially,” Vilsack said during an annual agricultural trade conference organized by the Virginia governor’s office, Politico reported.
Politico trade reporter Doug Palmer added, “Vilsack’s outspoken support for renewing TPA stands in contrast to U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai’s evasive answers on the topic as part of her Senate confirmation process. Other members of the Biden administration have played down signing new trade deals, saying they first want to focus on domestic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Washington Trade Daily also reported that Vilsack said at the conference that he is not ruling out the possibility that the United States might eventually join the Comprehensive and Progressive TransPacific Partnership. Vilsack said U.S. agriculture particularly would benefit from the CPTPP, WTD said.
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