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Trade Policy Agenda


TPA and TPP are good for Oregon

Currently, there is misinformation about the potential impact of the national Trade Promotion Authority and the Trans-Pacific Partnership. Most concerning are claims that the majority of Oregonians do not support the legislation. In a public opinion survey of voters in the Portland-metro area, which the Portland Business Alliance commissioned in April 2014, we found that respondents actually do support policy that promotes trade.

We need your help getting out the following information based on the related public opinion survey:

  • 90 percent of voters surveyed in the Portland region felt it important for Oregon’s elected leaders to support the development of international trade.
  • 71 percent said international trade is good for Oregon because it creates jobs here and grows the state’s economy.
  • 62 percent said increasing the promotion of Oregon products abroad to open up and expand markets should be prioritized.

View the public opinion survey results

Make your voice heard

The Portland Business Alliance, PNITA and the Port of Portland need you to advocate for federal policies, legislation and international trade agreements that make Oregon businesses and employees more competitive in global markets.

Contact your U.S. Senators and U.S. House Representatives to convey your support for these trade-related initiatives. The Trans-Pacific Partnership and the Trade Promotion Authority are particularly critical to Oregon’s vitality. Please send this letter to your elected officials to show your support. You also can join the conversation on Twitter at #tradeinOR.

In 2015, we will urge the Administration and Congress to work together to approve four trade-related items:

  1. Trade Promotion Authority (TPA)
    Since 1974, Congress has approved Trade Promotion Authority legislation to enable both Democratic and Republican Presidents to negotiate international trade agreements. In TPA legislation, Congress specifies the U.S. negotiating objectives and the detailed procedures for Congressional oversight and consultation during trade negotiations. When the negotiations and Congressional consultations are done, Congress gives the proposed trade agreement an up or down vote, without amendment. It is widely agreed that the President must have Trade Promotion Authority in order to complete negotiations on the Trans-Pacific Partnership. The countries with which the United States is negotiating will be very reluctant to reach difficult agreements if they think that Congress can amend the final agreement.
  2. Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP)
    The United States is negotiating the Trans-Pacific Partnership with 11 other countries in Asia and South America, including some of Oregon’s largest export markets. The TPP is intended to eliminate tariffs and other barriers to trade and investment, which should increase Oregon exports and foreign investment in Oregon businesses. It will also include strong labor and environmental protections to ensure a level playing field among the TPP countries. It is hoped that the negotiations and Congressional approval  can be completed in 2015.
  3. Reauthorize the Export-Import Bank
    The Export-Import Bank is a self-sustaining federal agency that helps to finance the export of American goods and services. The Bank fills export financing gaps for U.S. businesses through its loan, guarantee, and insurance programs when the private sector is unable or unwilling to provide financing. From 2007-2015, the Bank supported almost $500 million in exports from Oregon companies.  Many of those companies were small businesses. Congress will try to reauthorize the Export-Import Bank before its current authorization expires on June 30, 2015.
  4. Surface Transportation Infrastructure
    To be competitive in overseas markets, Oregon’s exports require reliable, efficient, and safe road and rail connections to seaports and airports. However, the road and rail infrastructure in Oregon and other states is deteriorating as federal and state funding fails to keep up with maintenance and improvement needs. Congress is expected to debate a new surface transportation authorization bill this year. It should include a reliable, sustainable source of revenue for road and rail projects and a funding program focused on freight improvements in particular.
We recommend that you contact your Oregon Senators and House Members to convey your support for these trade-related initiatives.          
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