Johanns Speaks for Trade Promotion Authority

As time runs out for TPA renewal, the USDA Secretary urges Congress to approve it.

President Bush's Trade Promotion Authority, which allows trade deals negotiated by the administration to pass through Congress with an up-or-down vote, is set to expire unless Congress renews it. Without TPA, the administration will have a considerably more difficult time passing free trade agreements, Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns said in a statement Friday.

"Since Trade Promotion Authority was last authorized in 2002, U.S. agricultural exports have grown from $53.1 billion to $68.7 billion in 2006," he says. " Removing trade barriers and lowering tariffs will create new export opportunities for American farmers and ranchers in a fast-moving and growing world marketplace."

"We cannot cede our global leadership position by unilaterally tying our hands at the trade negotiating table, while our competitors secure agreements that give them better market access and put U.S. exporters at a disadvantage."

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