Free trade agreements improve trade freedom for American families, individuals, and businesses when the agreements focus on eliminating tariff and non-tariff barriers. Trade Promotion Authority (TPA), which is set to expire on July 1, 2021, is an important tool for advancing trade agreements that Congress should seek to renew. However, Congress must also make some crucial changes to ensure that future trade agreements focus on advancing trade freedom through the elimination of barriers at home and abroad. Congress should seek to strengthen its ability to influence the contents of a trade agreement by authorizing TPA for individual agreements, requiring a vote for all tariff changes, and mandating mock markups. In addition, the next TPA should make it clear that only Congress has the authority to withdraw from trade agreements.
Tori K. Smith is the Jay Van Andel Trade Economist in the Thomas A. Roe Institute for Economic Policy Studies, of the Institute for Economic Freedom, at The Heritage Foundation.
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