(Washington, D.C.) The House passed Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) legislation today by a vote of 219 to 211. Representative Charlie Dent (PA-15) released the following statement:

“Today, I, and 190 of my House Republican colleagues, joined by 28 Democrats, supported passage of Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) to ensure that American businesses and farmers won’t be denied access to over forty percent of the global marketplace. This vote was as a victory for American workers, manufacturers, farmers and service providers who produce and export goods or services throughout the world. The ability to access markets is crucial to our nation’s continued economic prosperity, strategic interests and to the advancement of our founding principle of freedom.

I have consistently supported the expansion of American trade based on the following three premises:

1.)  that rules-based trade is beneficial;

2.)  that the rules of any trade agreement our country enters into must be enforceable;

3.)  that economic success and prosperity are not achievable through economic isolation.

Over 1.6 million Pennsylvanians depend on trade to support their jobs and to provide for their families. Pennsylvania has more than 15,000 companies, approximately 14,000 of which are small and medium-sized enterprises with fewer than 500 employees, who export from locations across the Commonwealth. In the 15th District, companies of all sizes like ColdEdge Technologies and Lutron in the Lehigh Valley, Materion Performance Alloys in Berks County and Hershey’s in Dauphin County are classic examples of why TPA is necessary. These companies, and the good-paying jobs they provide, are dependent on revenues derived from trade.

TPA allows America to set the standards and rules that will govern international trade. It’s a shame that critics of this agreement fail to acknowledge that if America retreats and retrenches from the global economic marketplace, the vacuum will be filled by China. Does anyone even remotely believe that China will set reasonable humanitarian standards and trade rules in an area of the world they are seeking to control? Had today’s TPA vote failed we would all have been able to hear the sound of champagne bottles being uncorked in Beijing.”

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Representative Dent serves as the Chair of House Appropriations' Subcommittee on Military Construction and Veterans Affairs

Contact:  Shawn Millan (610) 770-3490