AGRIBUSINESS: White House Moving Forward On TPA, EU Trade Talks

The White House has formally notified Congress of plans to begin trade talks with the European Union.

Acting U.S. Trade Representative Demetrios Marantis says a high-standard comprehensive trade agreement with Europe will be enormously beneficial for the U.S. economy. The news has been welcomed by lawmakers and business groups. But they also say the plan to begin talks heightens the need for renewed trade promotion authority. TPA would allow the White House to submit a completed trade deal to Congress for an up-or-down vote without amendment. It would also give Congress a chance to craft negotiating objectives for trade talks.

In the letter notifying Congress of the plan to move forward with negotiations – Marantis acknowledged the difficulties of past talks with the EU. But he said the potential gains overwhelmingly justify the effort. According to Marantis – exploratory discussions with the EU and key stakeholders have boosted confidence that it will be possible to find mutually acceptable solutions on difficult issues.