On behalf of International Paper and the more than 650 employees working at our Georgetown paper mill, I want to express our support for trade promotion authority. We applaud U.S. Sens. Lindsey Graham and Tim Scott for voting in favor of the Bipartisan Congressional Trade Priorities and Accountability Act of 2015 last month. We urge the U.S. House of Representatives to work to advance this legislation as soon as possible, as it is critical to completing trade agreements that open new markets for S.C. paper, pulp and packing products.
Trade promotion authority is an important tool to craft strong trade agreements that ultimately create new opportunities for businesses — big and small alike — and their employees and communities. By passing this legislation, Congress helps the president negotiate stronger deals with our trading partners around the globe and ensures that congressional trade priorities are reflected in any negotiated agreement, as it provides Congress with the final say through an up-or-down vote on all negotiated trade agreements. We need Congress to pass the bill as soon as possible so we can take advantage of this opportunity to expand our business.