Twenty-six senators have asked for a firm date for the Senate to vote on trade promotion authority. They asked the leadership to determine the date before Congress adjourns for the two-week holiday recess.
In December, the Senate Finance Committee voted 18 to 3 for trade legislation. The House of Representatives passed its version of TPA in December. The National Pork Producers Council has pushed strongly for TPA to be passed, including.about 60 producers who headed to Capitol Hill to lobby for TPA in February.

NPPC president Barb Determan says Senate passage of TPA is critical to the sucessful completion of a new World Trade Organization negotiating round and is key to the future prosperity of U.S. pork producers. While U.S. pork exports have increased more than 100 percent since the completion of the Uruguay Round, Determan says world pork tariffs remain extremely high and coupled with foreign subsidies and non-tariff barriers, effectively lock out U.S. producers from many markets.

"It's time to get TPA to the Senate floor and get it passed," Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa), one of those signing the letter, said. "Renewing the authority will help level the global playing field and create opportunities for American workers, farmers and businesses." In part, the letter said, "Trade promotion authority is indispensable to our success at the negotiating table. With trade promotion authority, our negotiators have the credibility they need to make the meaningful offers and concessions that are required to advance negotiations. Without it, we simply will not be able to bring back good agreements."

Sources: National Pork Producers Council, agriculturelaw.com