SENATE Finance Committee chairman Max Baucus (D., Mont.) welcomed President Barack Obama's recent request for trade promotion authority (TPA), along with worker adjustment assistance, which Baucus has said are critical to a successful trade agenda.
Baucus announced his intent to move TPA alongside the worker job training program Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA), which he proposed to extend in July in a bill he introduced with Sen. Susan Collins (R., Maine). TAA uses job training and assistance to make the American workforce more competitive.
The TAA legislation extends TAA programs under their current parameters, which were set in a bipartisan, bicameral agreement in 2011. It maintains training and assistance for workers in all sectors of the economy, including manufacturing, services and agriculture.
"We're negotiating deals right now that will break down barriers to U.S. exports in Europe and across Asia. The best way to make sure those trade deals boost our economy is to invest in American workers, and that's exactly what TAA does," Baucus said. "Trade promotion authority and worker training give America's workers the skills and opportunities they need to compete in the global marketplace. TAA and trade promotion authority are two sides of the same coin, and we need to renew and extend both as soon as possible."
During the confirmation hearing of now U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman, Baucus said he had hoped to introduce a bill for trade promotion authority this summer, which would greatly increase the Administration's ability to more efficiently and quickly negotiate trade deals.
A spokesperson for the Senate Finance Committee, which Baucus chairs, said technical work continues in August, and good progress has been made.