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Businesses Urge Congress to Avoid Lame Duck Vote on Trade Deal

For Immediate Release: 
October 5, 2016
Contact Info
ASBC Contact: Bob Keener, 617-610-6766,
CPA Contact: Paola Masman, 202-688-5145 ext 2,

WASHINGTON, DC (October 5, 2016)—The Coalition for a Prosperous American (CPA) and the American Sustainable Business Council (ASBC) released a letter to Congressional leadership today urging against holding a vote on the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement after the November elections. ASBC and CPA collectively represent over 250,000 American businesses across the country, including farms and ranches. CPA also includes labor organization members.

The letter states in part:

American voters’ trust in national leaders has been ebbing. Both major party presidential candidates oppose the TPP. A lame duck session vote on the TPP would further erode citizen’s trust in government. Legislators who have been defeated or are retiring would vote, but are no longer accountable to voters.

President Obama seeks a legacy, but that legacy is not supported by either of his potential successors. A President Clinton or a President Trump deserves the opportunity to re-examine trade policy with a new analysis to determine what works and what does not.

“We are pro-trade generally, but we do not support the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP),” said David Levine, President CEO of ASBC. “Instead, ASBC and CPA are working to improve future trade policy with a stronger focus on America’s businesses and workers.”

“Any lame-duck session should be reserved for congressional business that is absolutely necessary for government to function,” said Michael Stumo, CEO of CPA. “The TPP does not fit that criteria. Rather it would enact wide-ranging, permanent international rules governing trade, food safety, the financial industry, international dispute resolution and many other domestic policies. We think that is a bad way to run a democracy.”

In explaining the rationale for opposing the TPP, the ASBC/CPA letter points to the US International Trade Commission report from May 18, 2016, which found that under the TPP, the large and persistent US trade deficit will worsen, manufacturing will decline, and trade performance in the services industry will worsen.

“Our members are supportive of policies that help them to grow sales domestically and internationally,” said Levine. “But when a deal like the TPP would give up domestic market share and that loss is not outweighed by export sales, it’s a bad deal for most U.S, businesses.”

“We know from past trade deals that tariff cuts have little, if any, correlation with better US trade performance,” said Stumo. “The next congress and the next president need a strategy to build and reclaim diverse and high quality array of business and industrial supply chains to win the international competition for good paying jobs.”

Editor’s Note: The full text of the letter to Congressional leadership may be found here.

The Coalition for a Prosperous America is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization representing the interests of over three million households through our agricultural, manufacturing and labor organization members.

The American Sustainable Business Council advocates for policy change and informs business owners and the public about the need and opportunities for building a vibrant, sustainable economy. Through its national member network it represents more than 200,000 business owners, executives and investors from a wide range of industries.