Bipartisan Congressional Trade Priorities and Accountability Act of 2015

Press Statement
John Kerry
Secretary of State
Washington, DC
April 16, 2015

Our nation’s prosperity and security are linked to the entire world. The introduction of the Trade Promotion Authority legislation today in Congress marks an important step in promoting both of those vital interests at the same time we create jobs at home and markets abroad.

I applaud Chairman Orrin Hatch, Ranking Member Ron Wyden, and Chairman Paul Ryan for providing a framework that would allow the United States and its global partners to complete two of the most significant trade agreements in the history of our country, the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (T-TIP) that together will encompass nearly two-thirds of the global economy.

When I was in the Senate, I consistently supported free trade agreements because I know that investment, innovation, and trade are not just the drivers of a strong economy, they are engines of a strong society. And today, as Secretary of State, I am even more convinced that these agreements enhance our American leadership in an interconnected world.

TPP and T-TIP are critical to American economic security, supporting higher paying jobs here at home while leveling the playing field for U.S. businesses abroad. TPP and T-TIP are vital to our national interests by cementing our ties to strategically vital regions and raising standards that are essential to American ideals and ingenuity, including strong environmental protections, high labor standards, a free and open internet, protection of intellectual property rights, and transparency. These agreements will also support U.S. leadership in establishing rules for the global system consistent with America’s longstanding commitment to democracy, freedom, open markets, and the rule of law.

I also welcome the introduction of legislation renewing the African Growth and Opportunity Act and the Generalized System of Preferences, which have been powerful drivers of global development and pillars of our economic and trade engagement with the developing world.

The United States must remain a leader in global trade, and not run the risk of being left on the sidelines while others set the course. I urge Congress to pass TPA without delay.