Off the Sidelines and into the Game: Trade Agenda Moves Forward

April 17, 2015

The United States has to get in the game on more trade agreements to increase exports and provide our global customers better access to our great products. On Thursday, it grabbed the ball. 

This Thursday marks a major step forward in the pursuit of a robust trade agenda that helps Caterpillar increase its global presence. Influential Congressional members reached a bipartisan agreement to introduce legislation supporting Trade Promotion Authority (TPA). Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-UT), Senate Finance Committee Ranking Member Ron Wyden (D-OR), and House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) announced this critical breakthrough after months of negotiations. 

TPA is a longstanding and proven procedural partnership between Congress and the Executive Branch that facilitates negotiation and approval of Free Trade Agreements (FTA). It enables Congress to set trade negotiating objectives and increases its power to shape and influence deals with other countries. Additionally, it eliminates procedural roadblocks that often derail such agreements. 

Since its beginning 90 years ago, Caterpillar has been a global company. In virtually every nation you’ll find our products helping to build the global infrastructure and develop energy resources. Trade has always been an important part of growing our business – in the past five years alone we’ve had nearly $88 billion in exports – and it is essential to our future. 

That means we need more Free Trade Agreements that eliminate high tariffs, barriers and unfair trade practices. 

Without TPA, we’re just standing on the sidelines while other nations grab our market share by negotiating their own deals. There remains the hard work of passing this legislation, but the bipartisan agreement between some of the most influential policymakers in Congress leaves plenty of room for optimism. Caterpillar’s Chairman, Executive Officers, and Government Affairs team will continue working with key members of the House and Senate to push TPA across the goal line.

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