TRALAC - Trade Law Centre

House of Representatives Democrats warn Senate on trade deal

Thursday, 18 June 2015 Published: | SUSAN FERRECHIO

Source: Washington Examiner

House Democrats are calling on the Senate to reject a plan to pass a worker aid bill that is the lynchpin to securing a "Fast Track" trade deal.

Several House Democrats sent a letter to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and Minority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., urging them to refrain from attaching the Trade Adjustment Assistance Act to the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), a bill giving preferred trade status to some African nations.

The two measures may be tethered together in order to lure Democrats into passing TAA, which they have opposed in order to stall the "Fast Track" trade deal.

"AGOA is too important to be used as a bargaining chip," said the letter, which was signed by Reps. C.K. Butterfield of North Carolina, Karen Bass and Barbara Lee of California, and Keith Ellison of Minnesota.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., supports the letter, an aide told the Washington Examiner.

Senate GOP leaders hoped to attach AGOA and the worker aid bill and pass them first in the Senate, then the House.

Separately, the Senate would vote the Trade Promotion Authority bill, also called "Fast Track," that House lawmakers passed Thursday.

Senate Democratic lawmakers said they will only back the "Fast Track" bill if Obama will sign the TAA bill at the same time. That can't happen if House Democrats block it.

Pelosi signaled Thursday attaching TAA to the African trade preferences measure would not make it out of the House.

"I don't see a path for TAA right now," Pelosi said.

House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, told reporters Thursday he expects the Senate to pass the joined AGOA/TAA measure despite Democratic opposition, along with the TPA measure, "as soon as next week so that we can both of these to the president."

 

Related News

Blog: 'It’s Time for AGOA 2.0'

Blog: 'It’s Time for AGOA 2.0'

The African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) is set to expire in 2025. That may be the distant future for some but given the time required to pass trade legislation in the U.S. Congress, it’s the functional equivalent of tomorrow’s mid-day meal. Preparation for the post-AGOA trade relationship between the U.S. and Africa needs to begin now. AGOA has had important...

25 September, 2019
Africa wants one trade deal with the US, the US wants many

Africa wants one trade deal with the US, the US wants many

The US and Africa have different views on their future trade relationship when a preferential access deal expires in 2025. US Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Tibor Nagy said in an interview Sunday his country favours bilateral trade agreements with African nations. A day later, African Union Trade and Industry Commissioner Albert...

06 August, 2019
US House Black Caucus to advocate extension of AGOA

US House Black Caucus to advocate extension of AGOA

The Majority Chief Whip of the United States House of Representatives, Mr James Clyburn, has said the Black Caucus in the US Legislature will advocate the extension of the African Growth and Opportunities Act (AGOA) to 25 years when the current agreement expires in 2025. He said it was the view of the caucus that America’s future with Ghana and other African countries...

02 August, 2019
AGOA - good for Africa, warts and all?

AGOA - good for Africa, warts and all?

The African Trade and Opportunities Act (AGOA), established by the United States government on May 18, 2000, has been described as the cornerstone of the U.S. economic engagement with sub-Saharan Africa, where it has invested more than U.S.$7 billion towards trade capacity initiatives. Some say AGOA was the U.S. government's answer to China's growing presence on the African...

24 July, 2019
House of Reps passes AGOA and MCA Modernization Act

House of Reps passes AGOA and MCA Modernization Act

Today, Rep. Karen Bass (D-Calif.), Ranking Member of the House Africa Subcommittee, applauded the passage of the African Growth & Opportunity Act (AGOA) and Millennium Challenge Act (MCA) Modernization Act, which passed by a unanimous voice vote on the House (of Representatives) Floor. The bill, introduced by House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce (R-Calif.),...

17 January, 2018
What is the AGOA and MCA Modernization Act?

What is the AGOA and MCA Modernization Act?

The African Growth and Opportunity Act, or AGOA, was passed into law by the 200th Congress on May 18, 2000. The bill was renewed up to the year 2025 in 2015, during the Obama administration. The primary purpose of the AGOA legislation is to establish a new trade and investment policy for sub-Saharan Africa, along with expanding trade benefits to the...

27 November, 2017