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NAMA Urges Congress to Pass Trade Promotion Authority

December 5, 2001

WASHINGTON, D.C. – December 5, 2001 – The North American Millers' Association (NAMA) urges the House of Representatives to pass the Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) bill on Thursday. NAMA supports international free trade and is committed to promoting a strong domestic industry for the prosperity of American farmers. TPA gives the U.S. the ability to negotiate free trade agreements that will also strengthen the domestic market.

“The time to pass TPA is now. TPA is one of the most important decisions Congress will make this session. TPA will not come before Congress again during this Administration, and that would be a loss for U.S. agriculture,” says Bernard J. Rothwell III, NAMA chairman.

Although there are concerns about an increase in unemployed workers due to trade agreements, even more jobs would be lost if there are no trade agreements and limited exports. The closing of 10 facilities in the milling industry in the past year has resulted in the loss of more than 200 jobs and is due, in part, to the lack of exports. Exports of milled grain products help the domestic industry by keeping excess capacity from negatively affecting the domestic market.

With TPA passed the U.S. can take a leadership role in trade negotiations and the President and his representatives will be taken seriously by U.S. trading partners.

NAMA has 44 member companies operating 166 wheat, corn, oat and rye mills in 38 states and 150 cities. The aggregate production capacity of NAMA's membership is more than 160 million pounds of product daily, which is about 90% of the total U.S. capacity.

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