To facilitate U.S. trade negotiations, Congress passed the Bipartisan Congressional Trade Priorities and Accountability Act of 2015, otherwise known as Trade Promotion Authority (TPA), that gives Congress oversight authority during trade negotiations, but only allows for an up-or-down vote on the final agreement with no amendments. The 2015 TPA applies to trade agreements reached prior to July 1, 2018. TPA can be extended through July 1, 2021 if the President asks for an extension and Congress does not enact an extension disapproval resolution within 60 days of July 1, 2018.
To invoke TPA, the presidential administration must follow several mandatory steps prior to, during and upon completion of a trade negotiation. These include a detailed summary of objectives to be achieved in the final agreement and research into the extent that the agreement would promote or impact the economic interests of the United States.
Most recently, TPA was invoked with regards to President Trump’s renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement, or NAFTA.
TPA frequently asked questions can be found here.
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