Washington, DC--The National Cattlemen's Beef Association (NCBA) recently applauded the U.S. House of Representatives for passing HR 3005, with a vote of 215 in favor and 214 opposed. There were six members abstaining. If passed by the Senate and signed into law, this legislation will allow negotiators to work for cattle producers to provide increased access to international markets and provide for wider U.S. participation in the global marketplace.

"The Trade Promotion Authority legislation passed by the House will enable U.S. negotiators to provide leadership and negotiate for increased access to global beef markets and will expand opportunities for American agriculture," said Chuck Lambert, NCBA's chief economist. "U.S. agriculture is the most productive and efficient in the world, but many markets remain out of reach simply because of trade barriers," said Lambert. "U.S. beef faces tariffs of 38.5% and 40%, respectively, in Japan and Korea and the EU is the world's largest user of beef export subsidies. The only way to eliminate those barriers and unfair trade practices is through determined negotiation and the only way to accomplish that is by granting the president Trade Promotion Authority."

NCBA is an active participant in the Agriculture Coalition for Trade Promotion Authority (AgTrade), a coalition representing food and agriculture groups dedicated to the passage of legislation granting the president Trade Promotion Authority and achieving a multilateral agreement consistent with objectives outlined in Doha during early November. The cattle industry has long urged presidential trade promotion authority as an important tool for serious trade negotiation and for establishing credibility with other nations.

Trade Promotion Authority provides a partnership between Congress and the President to achieve the best possible result for U.S. interests in international trade negotiations. With Trade Promotion Authority, the President has the authority to efficiently move forward on trade issues while continuing to consult with Congress. Congress then votes the final agreement up or down with no opportunity to amend.

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