Senate Amendments to H.R. 1314 – Bipartisan Congressional Trade Priorities and Accountability Act of 2015 and Trade Adjustment Assistance Reauthorization Act of 2015

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May 14, 2015



Senate Amendments to H.R. 1314 – Bipartisan Congressional Trade Priorities and Accountability Act of 2015 and Trade Adjustment Assistance Reauthorization Act of 2015 

(Sen. Hatch, R-UT)


The Administration strongly supports enactment of the Senate Amendments to H.R. 1314, the Bipartisan Congressional Trade Priorities and Accountability Act of 2015 and the Trade Adjustment Assistance Reauthorization Act of 2015.  Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) is a vital tool for enabling the United States to expand economic opportunities, break down barriers, and establish global economic rules that support strong and enforceable standards that promote workers’ rights, the environment, and a free and open Internet.  U.S. exports support more than 11 million American jobs, which, on average, pay up to 18 percent more than jobs in other industries.  Enacting TPA will help America take another step toward delivering trade agreements that not only open new markets to ‘Made in America’ goods, but also level the playing field consistent with the Nation’s values and priorities.


This multi-title bill would grant TPA to support the negotiation of high-standard trade agreements that are good for the U.S. economy, businesses, farmers, innovators and workers, and would extend and enhance the Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) program.  The bill makes important updates to U.S. negotiating objectives that will promote human rights, facilitate digital trade, address state-owned enterprises, tackle localization barriers, and address currency issues in trade agreements subject to the bill.  The Senate Amendments to H.R. 1314 also provide a significant increase in the requirements for consultation, transparency, and accountability with Congress, stakeholders, and the public regarding such agreements.  Additionally, the bill will ensure that the United States will continue to maintain the highest level of health, safety, consumer, environmental, labor, and financial protections that ensure Federal, State and local governments continue to have the right to regulate in the public interest.


The Senate Amendments to H.R. 1314 regarding TAA are an important partner to TPA, and would provide employment-related services and benefits to American workers and firms, helping all Americans participate in the global economy.  By providing income support, job training, re-employment services, and other services, TAA would help trade-impacted workers enter new industries and careers and would give firms access to the tools they need to compete.  In addition to extending TAA services for American workers and firms, this bill would reinstate key provisions from the 2009 and 2011 TAA reauthorizations that were regrettably allowed to expire.  For example, the bill would expand coverage to again include service sector workers and workers whose jobs have shifted to China, India, and other countries.  Reinstatement and reauthorization of the TAA expansion provisions first enacted in 2009 would significantly increase the number of workers who have access to TAA benefits.  It would provide up to 130 weeks of Trade Readjustment Allowance benefits, restore case management and employment services and the enhanced older worker wage supplement program, and maintain job search and relocation assistance.  It also would raise the annual cap for job training and other activities to $450 million per year – from the $220 million annual training cap under current law.  The Administration looks forward to working with Congress to secure the needed resources to effectively implement and administer a reinstated Health Coverage Tax Credit.


The Administration also looks forward to providing technical assistance as necessary and continuing to work with Congress on successful passage and implementation on this important legislation.


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