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MEMA urges support for trade legislation

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WASHINGTON (Jan. 14, 2014) — The Motor & Equipment Manufacturers Association (MEMA) is urging its members to contact their senators and congressmen in support of legislation to renew a lapsed trade law.

The Bipartisan Congressional Trade Priorities Act was introduced Jan. 9 in the House Ways and Means Committee by Committee Chairman Dave Camp, R-Mich., and assigned the bill number H.R. 3830. Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus, D-Mont., and Ranking Member Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, will sponsor an identical bill in the Senate. As of Jan. 13, the Senate bill had not been assigned a number, according to THOMAS, the congressional legislative website.

The Bipartisan Congressional Trade Priorities Act would renew the Trade Promotion Authority (TPA), a partnership between Congress and the White House that facilitates development of approval of trade agreements, MEMA said.

“It ensures congressional input on trade negotiations and increases Congress’ power to shape and influence deals,” MEMA said.

First enacted in Franklin D. Roosevelt’s administration, the TPA lapsed in 2007.

The overall bill is designed “to obtain more open, equitable and reciprocal market access,” as well as other major trade objectives, according to the bill’s language. It contains provisions on trade in goods, services and agriculture; intellectual property rights; foreign investment; and labor and the environment, among many other issues.

“TPA has expired, and must be renewed quickly,” MEMA told its members in a press release. “Renewal will restore America’s global leadership on trade and ensure swift negotiation, review and approval of trade agreements that are currently in negotiation with Europe and nearly a dozen countries in the Asia-Pacific region.”

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is also on board in support of renewing the legislation.

MEMA told its members to contact Dan Houton, its director of government relations, at 202-312-9250 or with any questions about the legislation or how to contact Congress.

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