Trade Promotion Authority Legislation Will Help Deliver Economy-Boosting Trade Agreements

Wednesday, Jan 15, 2014, 5:00pm

by Semiconductor Industry Association

Last week, a bipartisan group of leaders from the Senate Finance Committee and House Ways and Means Committee introduced Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) legislation that re-establishes strong rules for the negotiation and congressional approval of trade agreements. The Bipartisan Congressional Trade Priorities Act of 2014 (S.1900 in the Senate and H.R. 3830 in the House), which the Senate Finance Committee will consider during a hearing tomorrow, restores the partnership between the Administration and Congress to reach commercially significant trade deals and open markets around the world. This legislation significantly strengthens the United States’ ability to negotiate and finalize key trade agreements that will lower tariffs, boost U.S. exports and create jobs. Congress should work swiftly to enact it.  clientuploads/innovation.jpg

The U.S. semiconductor industry is one the nation’s largest exporting industries, and the new legislation comes at a critical time for the U.S. trade agenda and for our industry’s trade priorities. The U.S. is actively pursuing an ambitious set of trade negotiations, including the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). These agreements, if successful, would have a large and positive impact on the semiconductor industry, its customers, and consumers around the world.

Key SIA priorities in these trade agreements include 21st century commitments regarding the protection of trade secrets, global encryption standards and regulations, semiconductor anti-counterfeiting, customs facilitation, and tariff elimination on a broad list of high-tech products, including next-generation semiconductors. These agreements also address a broader array of trade challenges facing the U.S. in the global marketplace, including market access barriers, intellectual property protection, and restrictions on cross-border data flows.

Timely passage of the TPA legislation is needed to ensure that these trade deals get done, and to allow the U.S. to more freely pursue job-creating trade agreements in the future. Congress last enacted TPA in 2002, and it expired in 2007.

SIA is a member of the Trade Benefits America Coalition, a broad based group of more than 160 U.S. businesses and associations, which supports the introduction of the bill and urges Congress to move forward on the legislation as quickly as possible. Enactment of TPA legislation will enable the U.S. to benefit from the TPP, TTIP, and other key trade deals that can help strengthen our industry and spur economic growth.

See a recent letter that SIA joined in support of this effort here.