Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) expired on June 30. This is the authority given to the President to negotiate trade agreements with a straight up-or-down vote by Congress. Without TPA, countries are very reluctant to negotiate with the U.S.
U.S. Trade Ambassador Sue Schwab said, "America needs to remain open for business to the 95% of the world's consumers living outside the United States. American workers cannot afford for us to hang up a 'Closed for Business' sign. The United States must be in the game and not on the sidelines as other nations negotiate deals that disadvantage our businesses, farmers, ranchers and service providers. Our trading partners and competitors are already negotiating and closing trade deals around the world. At least 100 regional trade agreements have gone into force since 2002 and more than 100 are under negotiation. The President -- indeed every President -- should have TPA to ensure that the United States can best advance our country's trade interests."
Many U.S. agricultural groups support the continuation of TPA. However the National Farmers Union said, "The collapse of the Doha round of WTO negotiations and the impending expiration of 'Fast Track' creates an opportunity for Congress to develop a trade agenda that prioritizes the interests of family farmers and ranchers over the interests of multi-national traders. The current trade agenda is not working and we need to look for new ways to negotiate trade agreements."