Paulo Whitaker / Reuters Ford trucks, 2015.

Should Congress Pass Trade Promotion Authority?

Foreign Affairs' Brain Trust Weighs In

We at Foreign Affairs have recently published a number of articles examining trade promotion authority (TPA) and the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). Those articles sparked a heated debate, so we decided to ask a broad pool of experts to state whether they agree or disagree with the following statement and to rate their confidence level about that answer.

Congress should grant U.S. President Barack Obama trade promotion authority for the Trans-Pacific Partnership.





Full Responses:

EDWARD ALDEN is the Bernard L. Schwartz senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations.
Strongly Agree, Confidence Level 9 I agree with many of the substantive criticisms of the TPP as it currently stands, but none of them is an argument for the United States to turn its back on the deal. The negotiating process should be more transparent, the agreement should include provisions to curb government intervention in currency markets, and the investor–state dispute resolution procedures should be reformed. Representative Sander Levin, the ranking Democrat on the House Ways & Means Committee, has produced a sensible list of improvements to the pending deal. But there is no question that concluding TPP is in the U.S. national interest. It will strengthen U.S. ties to Asia, boost U.S. exports, and encourage economic reform in China by setting high trade and governance standards for much of the region.

C. FRED BERGSTEN is Senior Fellow and Director Emeritus at the Peterson Institute for International Economics.
Strongly Agree, Confidence Level 10 TPA is essential to permit satisfactory conclusion and subsequent Congressional approval of TPP and (Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), which represent the most ambitious U.S. trade negotiating agenda ever and will transform the global economic system.

RICHARD N. COOPER is Maurits C. Boas Professor of International Economics at Harvard University.
Strongly Agree, Confidence Level 10 Congress should give the president TPA for other trade negotiations as well, not just the TPP. And my view does not imply support for TPP, the content of which we do

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