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Business Roundtable (BRT) is an association of chief executive officers of leading U.S. companies working to promote sound public policy and a thriving U.S. economy.

Congress Must Act on TPA; More than Three-Quarters Are in Favor of Congressional Action to Update and Pass TPA Legislation 

Washington – According to a new poll commissioned by Business Roundtable, the vast majority – more than 80 percent of Americans – support the United States negotiating trade agreements to expand market access for U.S. goods and services around the globe. The poll also reveals that more than 75 percent of Americans support congressional passage of Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) legislation to help Congress and the President work together to put trade agreements in place. Commissioned by Business Roundtable, the poll was conducted by The Winston Group, a leading research firm.

“For trade skeptics, this data may come as a surprise, but U.S. business leaders have long known that Americans understand the central role U.S. trade agreements play in stimulating economic growth, opening new markets, spurring investment and supporting jobs,” said Business Roundtable President John Engler. “Congress needs to act now on TPA legislation. Further inaction will only delay the benefits that will come when U.S. companies can sell more goods and services to other countries.”

From the ongoing trade negotiations with the Asia-Pacific region and European countries to modernized Trade Promotion Authority legislation, Americans are overwhelmingly in favor of expanding trade opportunities with other countries. The results from the survey show:

  • Eighty-two percent support the United States negotiating trade agreements to open markets and ensure fair and enforceable trade rules.
  • Eighty-five percent support ongoing U.S. trade negotiations with the Asia-Pacific region and European countries to open these markets and create strong rules for U.S. trade with them.
  • Seventy-six percent favor congressional action to update and pass TPA legislation.
  • Seventy-eight percent support passage of TPA to help Congress and the President put in place trade agreements that open foreign markets.
  • Sixty-eight percent believe trade agreements have a proven record of opening markets for U.S. products.

The survey, commissioned by Business Roundtable and conducted by The Winston Group, polled 1,000 registered voters by telephone from February 24, 2014 to February 25, 2014. The margin of error is 3.1 percent. Specific questions in the survey included:

1. Do you support the United States negotiating trade agreements to open foreign markets for American-made goods and services to ensure fair and enforceable rules for U.S. trade with other countries?

2. The United States is currently negotiating trade agreements to create opportunities to sell more American-made goods and services to 11 other countries in the Asia-Pacific region and to European countries. Do you support such trade negotiations to open these foreign markets to U.S. goods and services and to create strong rules for U.S. trade with those countries?

3. From the 1930s through 2007, Congress has authorized every President to negotiate trade agreements that open foreign markets for U.S. goods and services, but that authority – called Trade Promotion Authority – expired in 2007 and needs to be updated and passed again. Do you favor or oppose Congressional action to update and pass Trade Promotion Authority legislation?

4. By passing Trade Promotion Authority legislation, Congress can set goals for trade agreements and require the President to consult with it during their negotiation. Congress must then approve each final trade agreement. Do you support passage of Trade Promotion Authority to help Congress and the President put in place trade agreements that open foreign markets?

5. Do you believe or not believe this statement: trade agreements have a proven record of opening markets for U.S. products.

A breakdown of the results by party affiliation can be found here.

Passage of TPA legislation is a top priority for the Roundtable. It is leading the business community
coalition, Trade Benefits America, to educate on the many benefits of trade and advocate for TPA’s passage. To learn how all 50 states benefit from trade, visit www.brt.org/trade.

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