The American Soybean Association (ASA), a commodity trade group that represents U.S. soybean farmers, today expressed appreciation upon learning that the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 3005, which grants the President Trade Promotion Authority (TPA), on a vote of 215 to 214. Earlier this week, ASA called on all soybean producers to voice their support for passage of TPA, legislation that is critical to ensure the future profitability of U.S. soybean farmers.ASA First Vice President Dwain Ford, a soybean and corn producer from Kinmundy, Illinois, said “Trade Promotion Authority is extremely important to U.S. soybean producers from the standpoint that one out of every two rows of soybeans grown in the United States is exported in the form of a whole soybean or a soybean product. Over 95 percent of the world’s population lives outside our borders, and U.S. soybean farmer prosperity is tied to growth in incomes and demand worldwide. Simply put, trade liberalization drives economic growth.”Passage of Trade Promotion Authority is essential if U.S. soybean farmers are to remain competitive in the world market. TPA strengthens the ability of the United States to negotiate positive trade agreements. It allows the Administration to negotiate trade agreements and then present them to Congress for an up-or-down vote. In the absence of TPA, other countries have refused to negotiate final agreements with the United States.Agriculture makes one of the largest contributions to the U.S. trade balance, and soybeans are the highest value farm export. Soybeans are grown on 28 percent of the planted area in the United States. Exports of soybeans, soybean meal, and soybean oil totaled more than $7 billion last year. Agricultural exports help strengthen the U.S. economy.