October 4, 2022

Volume XII, Number 277

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October 03, 2022

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President’s Bid for Fast-Track Trade Authority Fails, Stalling Trans-Pacific Partnership Efforts

On June 12, the House derailed legislation that would have given President Obama authority to negotiate, with limited interference from Congress, a trade deal that will potentially govern 40 percent of U.S. imports and exports.

trade promotion authority

The Trade Act of 2015 [also referred to as “Trade Promotion Authority” (TPA) and sometimes “fast-track trade authority”] passed in the Senate May 22 on a 62-37 vote. On June 12, House leadership voted on the Senate’s bill in two parts, splitting the votes between TPA and another measure, Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA). The House passed TPA on a mostly party-line vote of 219-211, with 28 Democrats voting in favor. However, given significant pressure from labor unions who strongly oppose the measure, many Democrats joined Republicans in voting against the TAA, which led to its failure with a vote of 126-302. While today’s vote was a disappointment to those strongly in support of the TPA, many Republican and Democratic members remain committed to enacting both the TAA and the TPA. It is possible the measures could be considered as early as June 15, though the path forward remains unclear.

Enactment of the package of bills would have invigorated negotiations over the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a free trade agreement designed to promote international trade and investment by lowering tariffs, harmonizing regulations, and eliminating Non-Tariff Barriers (NTBs) to trade. The TPP will initially cover 12 countries: Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, the United States, and Vietnam. Collectively these countries represent 40 percent of the global economy. The treaty also establishes mechanisms for other countries to join in the future.

The TPP will create new rules governing cross-border trade, including competition, customs duties, market access, rules of origin, and trade disputes. Special arbitration provisions may allow private companies to sue foreign governments. The TPP will govern foreign exports, imports, and investment implicating several major sectors of the U.S. economy, including manufacturing, intellectual property, textiles and apparel, telecommunications, agriculture and others. It will also cover labor, employment, and environmental issues.

For more information on the Trans-Pacific Partnership, check out our Fact Sheet.

© 2022 Foley & Lardner LLPNational Law Review, Volume V, Number 163
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About this Author

Dennis A. Cardoza, public affairs director, Foley Lardner, law firm
Director, Public Affairs

Dennis A. Cardoza is a public affairs director, co-chair of the Federal Public Affairs Practice and chair of the California Public Affairs Practice of Foley & Lardner LLP. He advises a broad range of clients on legislative, regulatory, and public policy and advocacy matters, and has extensive policy experience with respect to water resource, banking, housing, infrastructure, energy, agriculture, education, foreign affairs, and health care issues.

202-295-4015
Christopher M. Swift, government enforcement litigator, Foley lardner law firm
Senior Counsel

Christopher Swift is a litigator with Foley & Lardner LLP and a member of Foley’s Government Enforcement, Compliance & White Collar Defense Practice. Focused on national security and international affairs, he represents clients in internal investigations and government enforcement actions involving anti-money laundering (AML), arms controls (ITAR), economic sanctions (OFAC), dual-use exports (EAR), and the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA). Dr. Swift also counsels clients in proceedings before the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS)...

202-295-4103
Richard J. Ferris, International Attorney, Foley Lardner Law Firm
Partner

Tad Ferris is a partner and business lawyer with Foley & Lardner LLP. Mr. Ferris’ practice focuses on international and Chinese legal issues. He manages legal issues involving institutional and company trade, sustainability, environment, health care, safety, privacy, energy and government issues in China, Japan, and other jurisdictions. In the health care sector in China, for instance, Mr. Ferris has advised on projects involving labor force communicable disease testing regulatory compliance, medical record controls, institutional licensing requirements, and...

202.295.4090
Jennifer F. Walsh, public affairs director, Foley law firm
Director, Public Affairs

Jennifer F. Walsh is a public affairs director with Foley & Lardner LLP. She has extensive experience in government affairs, including a lengthy career as a senior staffer in the U.S. Congress and the California Legislature, and as a vice president for Federal Government Affairs at a top 20 Fortune 500 health care company. Ms. Walsh has effectively advanced key issues before the United States Senate, House of Representatives and the Administration. She is a member of the firm’s Government & Public Policy Practice.

202-295-4762
Michelle Foley, Public Affairs, Foley lardner Law Firm
Public Affairs Adviser

Michelle Leeds is a public policy professional in the Government & Public Policy Practice and is on the Health Care Industry Team. Ms. Leeds has over a decade of experience in federal lobbying, legislative research, strategy and congressional procedures.

Ms. Leeds represents private and public sector clients before Congress and the federal government on a wide range of issues, including health care policy, telecommunications, defense, transportation, and energy. She assists clients with federal advocacy strategy and creates in-depth programs...

212.338.3493
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