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Salt Lake City—World Trade Center Utah (WTC Utah) is excited about the new international business opportunities granting the president Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) will create for Utah companies as trade agreements are finalized. With Utah Senator Orrin Hatch leading the charge, the senate approved the Bipartisan Congressional Trade Priorities and Accountability Act of 2015, the legislation to renew Trade Promotion Authority, on Wednesday.
“Congress passing Trade Promotion Authority today means the U.S. will be able to enter into trade agreements that will lead to increased exports and international partnerships for decades to come,” said Derek B. Miller, president and CEO of World Trade Center Utah. “I want to thank the members of Utah’s congressional delegation who voted in favor of this game-changing legislation, and specifically Senator Hatch for sponsoring the bill. “
Trade Promotion Authority gives the president leverage to negotiate trade agreements. Under this authority, he can submit a trade bill to Congress for an up or down vote without amendments. This is a necessary tool for finalizing two important trade agreements: Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (T-TIP), although it doesn’t guarantee passage of either trade agreement.
Utah is one of the few states in the nation with a trade surplus, estimated at $5 billion annually. Finalizing these two trade agreements will have tremendous impact on Utah’s international businesses. Together TPP and T-TIP encompass an estimated 64 percent of the world’s GDP. This will not only benefit Utah’s large corporations, it will help small to medium sized companies as well because 86 percent of the Utah companies that sell products outside of the U.S. are small to medium sized.
With 61,000 Utah jobs directly supported by trade and one in five jobs relying on trade in the state, decisions made on a national and international scale matter. Utah is fortunate to have a congressional delegation that sees the benefits of exporting and work to cultivate an environment that helps companies take their products to new international markets.
At WTC Utah’s executive committee meeting, members moved for a resolution to thank Senator Hatch for his efforts.
“World Trade Center Utah’s executive committee passed a resolution this morning thanking and congratulating Senator Hatch for his work on Trade Promotion Authority,” said Scott Anderson, president and CEO of ZIons Bank. “This is a big step forward for international trade in our country and we commend Senator Hatch on his perseverance with this bill.”