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AIA Statement on Trade Promotion Authority Legislation

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Willem Rijksen
(202) 828-7139

AIA STATEMENT ON TRADE PROMOTION AUTHORITY LEGISLATION

WASHINGTON, D.C., January 9, 2014 - Stephen Simchak, director of international affairs for the American Insurance Association (AIA) issued a statement today welcoming the introduction of The Bipartisan Congressional Trade Priorities Act of 2014 in Congress.  The legislation, sponsored by Senators Max Baucus (D-MT) and Orrin Hatch (R-UT) in the Senate and Rep. David Camp (R-MI) in the House, outlines the congressional ratification procedures for the consideration of completed trade agreements. Under the legislation, Congress would agree to take a straight up-or-down vote on trade agreements that the Administration has negotiated. It also lists Congress' priorities for trade agreements and requires the Administration to consult with Congress throughout such negotiations. Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) last expired in 2007.

Mr. Simchak's statement follows:

“Trade Promotion Authority will be essential for the ratification of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), which is nearing completion. Likewise, it will be needed for ratification of the Trade in Services Agreement (TiSA) and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) when they are completed.  TPA empowers Congress by ensuring that members of Congress are kept up-to-date on negotiations and are able to weigh in on their constituents' economic priorities.  The Administration has been conducting consultations with Congress on ongoing negotiations in keeping with the requirements of TPA, and it is entirely appropriate and necessary that TPP and the other agreements be considered by Congress under TPA procedures.

“TPA is also important for giving our trading partners at the negotiating table the confidence that the Administration has the support of Congress and that it can get these agreements ratified. 

“The U.S. insurance industry has benefitted immensely from past trade agreements, and those currently under negotiation will go even further to ensure that U.S. insurers are able to compete internationally on a level playing field.  AIA looks forward to working with the U.S. Trade Representative and congressional leaders to support passage of TPA.”

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The American Insurance Association (AIA) is the leading property-casualty insurance trade organization, representing approximately 300 insurers that write more than $100 billion in premiums each year. AIA member companies offer all types of property - casualty insurance, including personal and commercial auto insurance, commercial property and liability coverage for small businesses, workers' compensation, homeowners' insurance, medical malpractice coverage, and product liability insurance.