AIM supports TPA, but manufacturers need new currency rules

It looks like a new Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) agreement is set to race through Congress, but Associated Industries of Missouri is urging caution about the wording of the agreement and says any new agreement needs to include strong and enforceable currency rules.

Recently, AIM president Ray McCarty sent a letter to Senator Claire McCaskill, urging her to support wording in any new agreement that will “help advance the conversation about currency manipulation as the most critical trade barrier of the 21st century because it hurts the ability of American manufacturers to compete with foreign-based manufacturers here at home and in the export markets around the world.”

In his letter, McCarty says it is time for a new TPA, since the previous agreement expired in 2007. A TPA puts a framework around trade negotiations, creating a rulebook from which from which the administration can negotiate agreements. The TPA is also critical because it gives Congress the ability to approve or reject an agreement without bogging the process down with full legislative oversight.

Trade is important to Missouri. It supports 815,000 jobs. In 2013, Missouri exported $14.6 billion in goods and $8.6 billion in services. Data indicates that 196 countries buy Missouri-made goods and services.

Trade Promotion Authority is important for Missouri, but with a new agreement looming, as McCarty points out, “the devil is in the details.”