Trade Promotion Authority Legislation Introduced in U.S. House and Senate

April 20, 2015

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R), Ranking Member Ron Wyden (D) and House Ways and Means Chairman Paul Ryan (R) have introduced bipartisan, bicameral Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) legislation (S. 995). This legislation establishes negotiating objectives for US trade negotiators as they work to deliver strong, high-standard trade agreements that will boost American exports and create new economic opportunities for American small businesses and entrepreneurs.

According to the Members' press release, the "Bipartisan Congressional Trade Priorities and Accountability Act of 2015 (TPA-2015) outlines 21st century congressional negotiating objectives that any administration - Republican or Democratic - must follow when entering into and conducting trade talks with foreign countries while also increasing transparency by requiring that Congress have access to important information surrounding pending trade deals and that the public receive detailed updates and see the full details of trade agreements well before they are signed". The bill allows for trade deals to be submitted to Congress for an up-or-down vote, while also creating a new process to withdraw TPA procedures.

eBay applauds the introduction of the bipartisan TPA. Although eBay has shown that technology and innovation can solve many of the barriers facing technology-enabled traders, there are barriers that can only be removed by government action and coordination. Many trade laws were developed in a "pre-Internet" era and unnecessarily complicate international opportunities for many of the small businesses that use our platform. For example, domestic and international customs rules create real obstacles for many in our community to increase exports. In fact, over 100 eBay-enabled small businesses recently sent a letter to President Obama commending him for his commitment to pursue an ambitious trade agenda and explaining that it is often difficult to maximize their full trade potential because of outdated cross border trade regulations around the world.

eBay appreciates Congress' leadership on this important issue and we look forward to continuing to work with the House and the Senate to ensure that policymakers address government-inflicted policy pain points that prevent our customers from easily accessing international markets.

For more information on eBay's trade policy priorities, visit our Issues page on the topic.