Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) and the Role of Congress in Trade Policy [May 28, 2015] [open pdf - 438KB]
"TPA [Trade Promotion Authority] is the process Congress has made available to the President to enable legislation to approve and implement certain international trade agreements to be considered under expedited legislative procedures for limited periods, provided the President observes certain statutory obligations. TPA defines how Congress has chosen to exercise its constitutional authority over a particular aspect of trade policy, while giving the President added leverage to negotiate trade agreements by effectively assuring U.S. trade partners that final agreements will be given timely and unamended consideration. On July 30, 2013, President Obama first publicly requested that Congress reauthorize TPA, and he reiterated his request for TPA in his January 20, 2015, State of the Union address. Legislation to renew TPA was introduced in the 113th Congress (H.R. 3830) (S. 1900), but it was not acted upon. […] Although there appears to be support for renewal of TPA in Congress, the details of the legislation are likely to be subject to considerable debate, including the specific treatment of any related TAA [Trade Adjustment Assistance] program reauthorization. This report presents background and analysis on the development of TPA, a summary of the major provisions under the expired authority, and a discussion of the issues that have arisen in the debate over TPA renewal. It also explores some of the policy options available to Congress."
CRS Report for Congress, RL33743