A trade bill moves forward that a Nebraska Congressman says could boost exports from this state.
Congressman Adrian Smith is pleased the House returned to trade legislation and approved the Trade Promotion Authority on a 218-to-208 vote.
“Yes, it was a fairly close vote, but the fact that we’ve taken that vote two weeks in a row I think that shows a good sign,” Smith tells Nebraska Radio Network.
Last week, the House approved TPA, also known as fast-track trade legislation, but defeated a companion piece, blocking the package from moving back to the Senate.
This week, the House approved the stripped-down bill.
Smith dismisses concerns TPA, sometimes also called the Trade Priorities and Accountability Act, gives a president too much power.
“This allows Congress to be much more involved in the entire process, rather than just being expected to vote at the very end,” according to Smith.
Smith says any legislation that increases the United States’ ability to trade with foreign countries will benefit Nebraska, primarily agriculture. Exports of beef and other agricultural products are a mainstay of the state economy. But Smith says the benefits go beyond the farm. He says Nebraska manufacturers will also benefit from greater trade.
The trade legislation now moves back to the Senate. The House and Senate must agree on a final version before the bill goes to the president.
AUDIO: Brent Martin reports [:45]