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As Congress moves toward voting on legislation aimed at giving the president the ability to negotiate trade agreements with foreign nations, hundreds of thousands of citizens have weighed in on the subject and are urging Congress to support this legislation to help not only the U.S. economy, but also the world economy.
Paul Beckner, president of Citizens for a Sound Economy, a group with hundreds of thousands of grassroots members nationwide, issued the following statement regarding this legislation, known as Trade Promotion Authority (TPA):
"On behalf of our hundreds of thousands of members, we are calling on Congress to pass, as expeditiously as possible, TPA. TPA will be good for the both the US and world economies.
"As the United States sits idly by, the world is racing to bring down trade barriers. Currently, there are 130 multinational free trade agreements in effect today. Unfortunately, the U.S. is party to just two of them. By not participating in more free trade agreements, we harm not only the U.S. economy, but the world economy as well.
"Free trade agreements are essential to the health of our economy. But to get free trade agreements enacted, the president must negotiate an agreement with a foreign nation. Unfortunately, current law discourages the president from doing so. But with passage of TPA, that will all change.
"If Congress passes TPA, the president could negotiate a trade agreement and then submit it to Congress for an up-or-down vote. TPA would give the president the power to negotiate trade agreements, without compromising the ability of Congress to reject a trade agreement they found objectionable."