30 Jun Obama Signs Trade Legislation Into Law
President Obama signed the Bipartisan Congressional Trade Priorities and Accountability Act of 2015 (TPA-2015) into law on Monday. The bill, passed by Congress last week, was supported by FDRA as it opens the door to finalize TPP negotiations – a free trade agreement which would save the footwear industry $400 million a year in duties.
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A statement issued by The White House said that the rules laid out by Congress in the TPA bill ensure that the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) the Obama Administration is now negotiating with 11 other Pacific Rim countries can put in place high, enforceable standards that reflect US. values on the environment, on workers’ rights, on transparency, and more. The TPA stipulates, for instance, that any trade deals negotiated include a minimum wage, a band on forced labor, worker safety protections, protection for the oceans, combat illegal wildlife trafficking and combat illegal logging.
The President also signed into law the Trade Preferences Extension Act of 2015 which renews the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) for ten years, extends the Haiti HOPE/HELP trade program until 2025, and retroactively renews the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) program, while updating it to remove an exclusion on travel goods. The law also makes clarifications to the tariff classifications for protective active footwear.