It’s finally here, the moment we’ve been waiting for the past three years – yesterday Congress passed Trade Promotion Authority! Do you hear the fireworks shooting from the WCIT office?
It’s not been easy to get here today, and there have been nail-biting twists and turns along the way. But thanks to all of your hard work – writing our congressional delegation, sharing your trade stories, explaining why TPA is important on our DC Fly-Ins and at our roundtables, writing op-eds – we were able to push this critical trade legislation over the finish line.
Without the trade policy leadership of the majority of our state’s congressional delegation, TPA would not have passed. Seven of our Representatives (DelBene, Herrera Beutler, Kilmer, Larsen, McMorris Rodgers, Newhouse and Reichert) and both Senator Murray and Cantwell voted for TPA. Since TPA passed with the minimum number of votes – 60 in the Senate and 218 in the House – if even one of these members of our delegation had wavered in their support for Washington’s trade economy, the legislation would not have succeeded. WCIT is so grateful to work with a congressional delegation that really understands the vital role trade plays in our economy and how it enriches our quality of life. A huge thank you to them for ensuring that the United States will lead on trade!
The path to passage has been a suspenseful and at times confusing one that has been inaccurately portrayed in the media, so we wanted to take this opportunity to provide a quick recap of the past month:
– WCIT was in DC for our annual Fly-In as the Senate first voted down TPA cloture, but then approved it once Senators Cantwell and Murray received assurances from Senate leadership that there would be a vote on Ex-Im Bank reauthorization.
-Next, the TPA bill coupled with Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) passed in the Senate, but in the House the TAA measure failed when many Democrats voted it down in attempt to scuttle TPA. Ironically, TAA is the program that Democrats usually heartily support.
-Failure of TAA prevented the joint bill from advancing even though TPA passed.
– As a result, the House then passed a standalone TPA bill that headed over to the Senate, which passed today! TPA is on its way to the President’s desk for a signature.
The drama is finally over, and WCIT is pretty proud that so many in the Washington congressional delegation supported TPA. Now we can pat ourselves on the back and take an extended vacation. Just kidding – we have reauthorization of the Ex-Im Bank and the Trans-Pacific Partnership to tackle next, so there will be no rest for us trade policy advocates. We hope you’ll join us in our upcoming advocacy efforts and make them all just as successful as TPA!