Letter Urges No TPA Bill Amendments

The NCC joined 15 other agriculture and commodity organizations on a letter to the Senate Finance Committee leadership urging no amendments to the TPA bill and other trade measures that were approved by the Committee.

Published: May 8, 2015
Updated: May 8, 2015

May 4, 2015

The Honorable Orrin Hatch
Committee on Finance
United States Senate
219 Dirksen Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510

The Honorable Ronald "Ron" Wyden
Ranking Member
Committee on Finance
United States Senate
219 Dirksen Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510

Dear Chairman Hatch and Ranking Member Wyden:

The undersigned agricultural organizations applaud your leadership and the Senate Finance Committee actions to report out S. 995, "The Bipartisan Congressional Trade Priorities and Accountability Act of 2015," and several other important trade-related measures.  We particularly appreciate the hard work to keep S. 995 unencumbered by amendments that could jeopardize prospects for swift passage of these trade bills.We stand ready to help urge your colleagues to keep it a clean bill without further amendment as it moves through the legislative process and free of amendments that could negatively impact farmers, ranchers and rural communities.

The successful negotiation and execution of new trade agreements would provide access to important new markets, enhance existing market access all while allowing American agriculture to compete on a more level playing field.  Agriculture continues to be a bright spot in our nation's economy and the bills reported out of your committee two weeks ago will help farmers, ranchers and our industry sector partners create more jobs and boost exports.

Given the importance of these measures to all segments of agriculture, we request that you oppose any potential amendments that would threaten final passage.  Specifically, we ask that you urge your colleagues to keep focused on the Senate Finance Committee's jurisdiction and responsibilities to support U.S. trade and not allow the amendment process to revisit provisions of the Agricultural Act of 2014 – the new and still being implemented farm bill. 

Our particular concerns in this regard arise because of recent discussions with Senate staff relative to a possible amendment to repeal important food safety provisions included in both the 2008 and 2014 farm bills. We strongly oppose any such amendments because of the pushback it would invite from consumer safety interests as well as agricultural organizations.  We are proud of the safe, affordable and high-quality products that America's farmers and ranchers provide.We should expect and accept no less from our trading partners. 

Again, we commend your leadership and the hard work of the members and staff of the Senate Finance Committee for the progress on these important trade issues made thus far.We ask that you keep our thoughts in mind should trade legislation be considered on the Senate floor in the near future. 


Alabama Farmers Federation
American Cotton Shippers Association
American Farm Bureau Federation
American Sheep Industry Association
Arkansas Farm Bureau
California Association of Winegrape Growers
Delta Council
Louisiana Farm Bureau Federation
Mississippi Farm Bureau Federation
National Cattlemen's Beef Association
National Chicken Council
National Corn Growers Association
National Cotton Council
Southern Peanut Farmers Federation
U.S. Pecan Growers Council
United Egg Producers
United Fresh Association
USA Rice Federation