Tennessee Farm Bureau Praises Congressional Support of Trade Promotion Authority

U.S. Congressmen Phil Roe (R-1st), Chuck Fleischmann (R-3rd), Scott DesJarlais (R-4th), Jim Cooper (D-5th), Diane Black (R-6th), Marsha Blackburn (R-7th)  and Stephen Fincher (R-8th) voted for bipartisan Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) today, ensuring Tennessee farmers continue to expand their exports to new markets around the globe.

Access to markets throughout the world is vital to not only Tennessee agriculture, but also the entire United States. Tennessee Farm Bureau is encouraged by our Tennessee Congressional members’ support of the TPA.

For more than 30 years, Congress has passed TPA laws to guide both Democratic and Republican Administrations in pursuing trade agreements that support U.S. jobs, eliminating barriers in foreign markets and establishing rules to stop unfair trade.  This year is no different, and passage is critical to safeguarding current trade deals and establishing new ones.

“Having our Congressional members support the Trade Promotion Authority with their vote brings Tennessee farmers closer to being able to access new markets,” Tennessee Farm Bureau President Lacy Upchurch said. “Tennessee’s agricultural exports have grown significantly in the past several years, helping not only farmers, but Tennessee’s economy as a whole.”

Tennessee’s agricultural exports reached an estimated $1.9 billion in 2013, an increase over the $1.2 billion in 2009. These exports not only boosted Tennessee’s economy, it also supported around 14,200 jobs on the farm and in related industries. Passage of TPA allows these exports to grow exponentially in the future as it gives our negotiators the leverage they need to resolve trade conflicts, break down barriers to U.S. products and open new avenues for trade.

“Tennessee farmers produce a quality product valued around the world. Tapping into new markets and expanding current ones gives our economy an important lift and fuels rural development,” said Upchurch. “With today’s vote, our Congressional members assured our state’s farmers can continue to provide valued products to all consumers.”