Washington, D.C. – Today, Congresswoman Elise Stefanik (R-NY-21) voted in support of H.R. 1314, the Bipartisan Congressional Trade Priorities and Accountability Act of 2015. This legislation reauthorizes Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) and establishes a process for negotiating and considering trade agreements that is needed in order for U.S. trade negotiators to get the best deal possible by giving our trading partners confidence to put their best offer forward.
“From day one, my key priority in Congress has been to help our economy grow and to help North Country families find good, high paying jobs,” said Congresswoman Stefanik. “This is why I was proud to vote in support of this bipartisan measure to promote free trade and help our North Country businesses expand in the global marketplace. Simply put, TPA is a tool that helps the United States enter into trade agreements with other countries around the globe as we seek to lower trade barriers and help our businesses and manufacturers sell their products to the 95 percent of the global marketplace that lives outside our borders.
“Trade is an invaluable part of our American economy. In fact, trade supports one in five jobs in the United States, and in New York, international trade supports as many as 2.6 million jobs. Furthermore, and contrary to what some have suggested, TPA does not provide President Obama the power to negotiate secret trade deals behind closed doors. In fact, TPA puts Congress in the driver’s seat at the front end of trade negotiations by allowing us to set negotiating priorities through nearly 150 clear and ambitious objectives, like rules for intellectual property rights, agricultural trade, labor standards, and environmental protections.
“Increasing international trade can be a significant boon to our North Country economy and traditionally has been an issue with strong, bipartisan support. I will continue to work my hardest in Congress to help our economy grow and to help North Country families find good paying jobs.”
The Bipartisan Congressional Trade Priorities and Accountability Act of 2015 includes historic transparency measures and will require the President to publish the text of any trade agreement in an open and transparent fashion for 60 days for Congress and the public to review before he can sign it.
Garry Douglas, President of the North Country Chamber of Commerce, said: “There are few areas where international business is as important a part of the present and future as the North Country, and Congresswoman Stefanik has supported jobs in our region by her vote for TPA. From paper to machinery, lighting fixtures to plastics, dairy products to maple syrup, we are an exporting region with real opportunities for more exporting with more open markets. The world is recognizing the North Country as a place to invest and produce, including Plattsburgh's recent ranking by fDi Magazine as the #2 micro city of the future. More open markets through a process of strong negotiation that TPA simply allows to take place, with proposed agreements still subject to debate and Congressional action, keeps our economy in the global market where the greatest growth will come in the decades ahead."
Dean Norton, New York Farm Bureau president, said, “Farms in the North Country, including the large dairy sector, are competing with farmers from around the world. It is imperative that we have a fair playing field to be able to sell our quality products and to increase farm exports. New York Farm Bureau commends Rep. Stefanik on her vote for TPA. In the end, strong trade policy will boost farm revenue and support jobs in our rural economy.”
Mark S. Sutton, Chairman and CEO of International Paper, said, "Global trade is an important component of our business as we export nearly 25% of our U.S. manufactured products with approximately 8,000 International Paper jobs linked to exports. The Bipartisan Congressional Trade Priorities and Accountability Act of 2015 (TPA-2015) will help open markets for International Paper products, increase our exports and create new opportunities for our customers."
Joseph M. DeVivo, President and Chief Executive Officer of AngioDynamics, said, “I know first-hand how important access to global markets is to our economy. In New York, the medical technology sector supports over 19,000 good paying jobs, with my company, Angiodynamics, providing 1,000 of those jobs in upstate New York. I especially appreciate the efforts of U.S. Rep. Elise Stefanik, who is steadfastly working on our behalf to eliminate barriers and give U.S. businesses a more level playing field when we enter new markets, which will fuel job growth here in New York."
The text of the Bipartisan Congressional Trade Priorities and Accountability Act of 2015 can be read here. Additionally, a recent Reuters/Ipsos poll, conducted May 21-27, “found that 56 percent of Americans support new trade deals to promote the sale of U.S. goods overseas, with just 13 percent opposed.” A fact sheet on this legislation can be found here.