The long-awaited Trade Promotion Authority (TPA), formerly known as fast-track, has now been signed into law by President Bush. The new legislation allows the president to negotiate trade deals that Congress could accept or reject but not alter. He's pushed hard for the authority since taking office. TPA lapsed in 1994.
The bill is critical to Bush's ambitious trade agenda.
“Twenty-five percent of farm cash receipts come from exports,” says Agriculture Secretary Ann M. Veneman. “A third of soybean and meat production is shipped overseas, and 20% of the corn crop. We want to grow these markets in the future and TPA will help.”