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Greater Spokane Incorporated Supports Passage of Trade Promotion Authority Bill

(Spokane, Wash.) – Greater Spokane Incorporated (GSI) welcomes the recent passage of the Bipartisan Trade Priorities and Accountability Act of 2015 by the U.S. Senate, and thanks Washington Senators Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell for their support. GSI now urges the U.S. House of Representatives to follow the lead of the Senate and approve Trade Promotion Authority (TPA).TPA is a partnership between Congress and the President which paves the way for the most beneficial and effective U.S. trade agreements. TPA provides the President and negotiators with clear direction and specific guidelines on trade agreements, and gives Congress the power to approve those agreements. Additionally, TPA brings far greater transparency to trade negotiations, giving both Congress and the American public robust access.

“We applaud the votes of Senators Cantwell and Murray, who recognize the importance of trade to Washington and to the Spokane region. Our local companies and farmers are competing in a global marketplace, and the importance of TPA in securing trade agreements that level the playing field for them can’t be understated,” said Steve Stevens, President and CEO of GSI.

TPA will result in greater Congressional involvement and oversight in trade negotiations. But without the tool, new free trade agreements which open foreign markets and increase U.S. competitiveness are unlikely. Under TPA, if negotiators meet the priorities and consultation requirements of Congress, trade agreements then go to Congress for an up-or-down vote. This results in negotiating nations giving their best offers.

This united front of Congress and the President will help deliver the strongest possible trade agreements that will strengthen American exports and protect American manufacturers, farmers, ranchers, and job creators from unfair tariffs and non-tariff barriers. And perhaps most importantly, ensures that the United States is not left out of the rule writing for the global economy.

“TPA gives Congress the ability to set the guidelines for trade negotiations that will keep our businesses in the game. Without TPA, the U.S. is likely to be left watching as the rest of the world writes the rules for the 21st century economy,” Stevens added.

About Greater Spokane Incorporated
Greater Spokane Incorporated (GSI), the Spokane region’s Chamber and Economic Development organization, has been creating something greater for Spokane and the Inland Northwest since 1881. GSI is charged with the mission of growing jobs and business investment through robust programs in economic and workforce development, public policy and small business. GSI is funded through a combination of private and public investment, including 1,200 private-sector member investors; Spokane County; Washington State Department of Commerce; and the cities of Spokane, Spokane Valley, Cheney, Liberty Lake, Medical Lake and Newport, as well as the Kalispel Tribe of Indians. For more information, visitgreaterspokane.org or contact us at 509.624.1393 or 1.800.SPOKANE.
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