From the Produce Marketing Association:
Newark, Del. — Richard Owen, vice president of global business development for Produce Marketing Association (PMA), issued the following statement praising Congress’ work on Trade Promotion Authority (TPA 2015), also known as ‘fast track,’ as it moves to President Obama for signature:
“We’re pleased that a bipartisan Congress has shown strong resolve to pass TPA and to see this transformative bill through to the desk of President Obama. The buying and selling of fresh produce occurs in a global environment, and that’s becoming more evident each day. Our ability as an industry to compete in the international market is tied to the ability of the United States to eliminate barriers to facilitate free and fair trade. TPA provides a framework that builds confidence with our international partners and foreign governments that a deal negotiated will make it through the political process for approval.
“The expectation of U.S. consumers for year-round fresh produce means the produce industry, buyers and sellers alike, depend heavily on continued strong growth of international trade. PMA’s members care about trade no matter what side of the world they call home. That’s why we’re focusing on global trade as a top priority through our Issues Leadership work.
“The U.S. also depends on international supply partners: it’s the largest importer of fresh produce globally, importing 17.2 million tons in 2014 totaling $18 billion. Additionally, 70 to 80 percent of cut flowers come from outside of the U.S.”